Morris Claiborne

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Morris Claiborne
refer to caption
Claiborne with the New York Jets in 2017.
No. 21 – New York Jets
Position: Cornerback
Personal information
Born: (1990-02-07) February 7, 1990 (age 28)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 192 lb (87 kg)
Career information
High school: Fair Park
(Shreveport, Louisiana)
College: LSU
NFL Draft: 2012 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 6, 2018
Total tackles: 214
Pass deflections: 44
Interceptions: 7
Forced fumbles: 1
Fumble recoveries: 4
Defensive touchdowns: 2
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Morris Lee Claiborne (born February 7, 1990) is an American football cornerback for the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Louisiana State University (LSU), where he won the Jim Thorpe Award as the best defensive back in the country and was unanimously recognized as an All-American. He was selected by the Dallas Cowboys sixth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Early years[edit]

Claiborne was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He attended Fair Park High School in Shreveport, where he played for the Fair Park Indians high school football team. He was a three-star recruit according to[1] He played quarterback, wide receiver, and defensive back. As a senior, he had over 2,000 all purpose yards and 30 touchdowns as a quarterback.

Claiborne was also on the school's track & field team, where he competed as a sprinter. He won the 100 meters at the 2009 Louisiana Outdoor State Championships, with a career-best time of 10.76 seconds,[2] and also ran the fourth leg on the 4 × 100 metres relay squad, helping them earn a first-place finish at 42.06 seconds.[3] He also placed second in the 200 meters at the 2009 Region 1-4A Championships, with a personal-best time of 22.21 seconds.[4]

College career[edit]

Claiborne attended Louisiana State University, where he played for coach Les Miles's LSU Tigers football team from 2009 to 2011. After spending his freshman season as a backup in 2009, he started 12 games in 2010 and recorded 37 tackles and a team-leading five interceptions as a sophomore in 2010, and was named a second-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection.[5] Following his junior season in 2011, Claiborne won the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the year's best defensive back, earned first-team All-SEC honors, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American.

Professional career[edit]

Claiborne was not perceived as a first-round draft pick prior to his junior season.[6][7][8] By midseason, however, he had drawn the attention of NFL scouts and analysts, having erased concerns his sophomore production resulted from playing opposite of Patrick Peterson.[9][10] Towards the end of his junior season, Claiborne had established himself as the best cornerback prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft, unanimously projected as a top-6 selection.[11][12][13] On January 12, 2012, Claiborne announced his decision to forgo his remaining eligibility and the 2012 NFL Draft.[14] Scouts for the Dallas Cowboys had Claiborne as the highest-graded cornerback in the draft since Deion Sanders. Claiborne scored a 4 out of 50 on the Wonderlic Test, which is an aptitude test given to NFL prospects to test basic intelligence.[15] After being drafted, Claiborne admitted he "blew the test off" (the Wonderlic test) after seeing that it had "nothing on the test that came with football".[16] Claiborne withheld surgery to repair a wrist injury until after he performed at the NFL Combine and LSU’s pro day. He sustained a ligamentous injury to his wrist on November 5, 2011, but elected to play through it for the remainder of the season.

External video
Morris Claiborne’s NFL Combine Workout
Morris Claiborne runs the 40-yard dash
2012 NFL Combine: Morris Claiborne
Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad Wonderlic
5 ft 11 18 in
(1.81 m)
188 lb
(85 kg)
33 14 in
(0.84 m)
8 12 in
(0.22 m)
4.43 s 1.56 s 2.58 s 4.12 s 7.01 s 35 in
(0.89 m)
9 ft 10 in
(3.00 m)
40 time and vertical from LSU Pro Day[17]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

The Dallas Cowboys selected Claiborne in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. The Dallas Cowboys traded their first (14th overall) and second round picks (45th overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft to the Chicago Bears and received their first round pick (6th overall) which they used to draft Claiborne. Claiborne was the first defensive back drafted in 2012 and was the Cowboys’ highest draft pick since they drafted Terence Newman fifth overall in 2003.[18]

External video
Cowboys draft Morris Claiborne sixth overall
Morris Claiborne’s impact in Dallas

During the pre-draft process, the Dallas Cowboys did not have a pre-draft visit with Claiborne as they “didn’t think it was realistic” he would be available at 14th overall.[19] The Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones stated Claiborne would be the only Player the Cowboys would be willing to trade up for in the first round.[20][21][22]


On July 23, 2012, the Dallas Cowboys signed Claiborne to a fully guaranteed four-year, $16.4 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $10.3 million.[23]

Claiborne was not able to physically participate at rookie minicamp and organized team activities as he recovered from surgery on his wrist.[24] During training camp, Claiborne competed to be a starting cornerback against Mike Jenkins.[25] Head coach Jason Garrett named Claiborne and Brandon Carr the starting cornerbacks to begin the regular season. They began the season starting alongside free safety Gerald Sensabaugh, strong safety Barry Church, and nickelback Orlando Scandrick.[26]

He made his professional regular season debut and first career start in the Dallas Cowboys’ season-opener at the New York Giants and recorded four solo tackles during their 24–17 victory. On October 21, 2012, Claiborne recorded two combined tackles, defected two passes, and made his first career interception as the Cowboys defeated the Carolina Panthers 19–14 in Week 7. Claiborne intercepted a pass by Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton, that was originally intended for wide receiver Louis Murphy, during the second quarter.[27] On December 9, 2012, Claiborne sustained laceration to his face during the third quarter of the Cowboys’ 20–19 victory at the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14.[28] The following week, he was inactive and missed the Cowboys’ 27–24 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 15. In Week 16, he collected a season-high ten combined tackles (nine solo) and deflected two passes during a 34–31 loss to the New Orleans Saints. He finished his rookie season in 2012 with 55 combined tackles (43 solo), eight pass deflections, and one interception in 15 games and 15 starts.[29][30]


In 2013, Claiborne bulked up from 185 to 193 pounds and seemed motivated to play in the team's new 4-3 defense. His progress was slowed first by a sprained knee he hurt in preseason that made him miss three weeks of training camp and later by a dislocated left shoulder he suffered in the season opener. Forced to wear a harness to stabilize the shoulder and play through the injury, Claiborne had poor performances and was passed on the depth chart by Orlando Scandrick after the third game.[31] He also faced adversity with the death of his father and from missing 6 games with a hamstring injury.


In 2014, Claiborne missed most of the preseason with knee tendinitis and an AC joint separation. He began the season as the starter at right cornerback with Scandrick suspended for the first two contests but returned to a reserve role after the third game, even though he made the interception that clinched the win. When told of his demotion from the coaches on September 23, he walked out of the Cowboys' practice facility but returned later that night.[32] On September 28, he sustained a noncontact torn left patellar tendon against the New Orleans Saints and was placed on the injured reserve list after four games.[33] In December, he also had his right knee scoped to strengthen the other patellar tendon. The Cowboys opted not to pick up the fifth-year option of his rookie contract.


Claiborne with the Dallas Cowboys in 2015

In 2015, Claiborne's rehab from a potentially career-threatening injury went better than expected, regaining his previous form and being able to avoid missing time in training camp. Coming from two previous disappointing seasons, where he only started a total of 10 games, the season-ending injury to Orlando Scandrick opened the door for him to be named the starting right cornerback. He ended up starting 11 games, missing five contests with hamstring and ankle injuries, while registering five passes defensed and no interceptions.


On March 11, 2016, the Cowboys re-signed Claiborne to a one-year contract worth $3 million, that could reach a maximum of $3.75 million with incentives. In training camp, while Orlando Scandrick was out recovering from a knee injury, he earned the starting left cornerback position. During the season, he showed the potential that was expected from him since the 2012 NFL draft and had his best season with the Cowboys. In the week 4 win against the San Francisco 49ers, he played a key role in the fourth quarter with an interception and tackling wide receiver Torrey Smith short of a first down on a crucial 4th-and-6 play, getting the ball back so the Cowboys could run out the clock. In the next game, he limited All-Pro A. J. Green to 4 receptions for 50 yards (including a pass breakup of a sure touchdown), contributing to a 28-14 win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Against the Green Bay Packers, Claiborne had to leave in the third quarter because of a concussion. Unfortunately in the next game after a bye, he severely injured his groin during the Cowboys’ overtime win against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 8. There was a fear that the injury could require season-ending surgery, but the team decided to let it to heal on its own and not place Claiborne on the injured reserve list. After a 9 game absence, he returned for the divisional-round playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, but he injured his ribs in the first half and had to leave the game with 10 minutes left in the third quarter.

In 5 seasons, he had 151 tackles, four fumble recoveries, and four interceptions, never recording more than one interception per season and only played in 47 games out of a possible total of 80.

New York Jets[edit]

2017 season[edit]

On March 18, 2017, Claiborne signed a one-year contract with the New York Jets, who were looking to replace veteran Darrelle Revis at cornerback.[34][35] Claiborne started 15 games in 2017, the most since his rookie year, recording 43 tackles, eight passes defensed and one interception.

2018 season[edit]

On March 15, 2018, Claiborne signed a one-year contract extension with the Jets.[36]

Career statistics[edit]

NFL career statistics
Season Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Year Team GP GS Comb Solo Asst Sack Int Yds Avg Lng TD PD FF FR Yds TD
2012 DAL 15 15 55 43 12 0.0 1 0 0.0 0 0 8 1 2 50 1
2013 DAL 10 7 26 24 2 0.0 1 0 0.0 0 0 5 0 1 0 0
2014 DAL 4 3 7 5 2 0.0 1 -8 -8.0 -8 0 2 0 0 0 0
2015 DAL 11 11 37 30 7 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 7 0 0 0 0
2016 DAL 7 7 26 24 2 0.0 1 27 27.0 27 0 5 0 1 0 0
2017 NYJ 15 15 43 36 9 0.0 1 28 28.0 28 0 8 0 0 0 0
Career 62 58 194 162 34 0.0 5 47 9 28 0 35 1 4 50 1


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  2. ^ "Morris Claiborne Marks". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  3. ^ "LHSAA 4A State Championships". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "Region I-4A Championships". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  5. ^ "Southeastern Conference".
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  7. ^ Pauline, Tony (May 3, 2011). "Stanford's Luck headlines early look at top 2012 draft prospects". Sports Illustrated.
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  9. ^ Pauline, Tony (October 24, 2011). "Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson high in midseason NFL draft rankings".
  10. ^ Schrager, Peter (November 15, 2011). "Midseason 2012 NFL Mock Draft".
  11. ^ Schrager, Peter (January 10, 2012). "Post-regular season mock draft".
  12. ^ Nawrocki, Nolan (January 24, 2012). "Mock draft 1.0". Pro Football Weekly. Archived from the original on March 24, 2012.
  13. ^ Banks, Don (January 27, 2012). "Andrew Luck tops pre-Super Bowl NFL mock draft".
  14. ^ "2012 NFL Draft: Morris Claiborne Declares, Should The Rams Consider Him?". January 12, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  15. ^ Mike Florio, Claiborne gives birth to a four on the Wonderlic,, April 3, 2012.
  16. ^ The Sports Xchange. "Clairborne admits he blew off Wonderlic". The Sports Xchange. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  17. ^ "Morris Claiborne Ratings". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  18. ^ "Cowboys trade with Rams, nab Morris Claiborne in NFL draft". April 26, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  19. ^ Watkins, Calvin (April 27, 2012). "How the Morris Claiborne trade went down". Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  20. ^ Machota, Jon. "Cowboys Player Profile Series: CB Morris Claiborne". SportsDayDFW. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  21. ^ Hawkins, Stephen (2012-04-26). "Morris Claiborne To Cowboys With 6th Pick After Trade During 2012 NFL Draft". Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  22. ^ "Cowboys Draft Day Three". Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  23. ^ Eatman, Nick. "Claiborne Officially Signs 4-Year Deal Worth $16.4 Million". Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  24. ^ "Morris Claiborne wrist injury not a worry". April 27, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  25. ^ "Opposing Views: Will The Cowboys Second Corner Be Mike Jenkins Or Morris Claiborne?". June 7, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  26. ^ Griffin, Jeric (September 1, 2012). "Dallas Cowboys 2012 Official 53-Man Roster, Depth Chart Finalized". Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  27. ^ "Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers - October 21st, 2018". Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  28. ^ Porath, Brendan (December 9, 2012). "Morris Claiborne injury: Cowboys CB leaves game after hit to face". Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  29. ^ "Morris Claiborne 2012 Review, Final Grade". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  30. ^ "NFL Player stats: Morris Claiborne (career)". Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  31. ^ Carey, Bill (October 1, 2013). "Cowboys bench former first-round pick Morris Claiborne". Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  32. ^ "Mo Claiborne storms out of facility". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  33. ^ Archer, Todd (September 29, 2014). "Morris Claiborne out for season". Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  34. ^ Lange, Randy (March 18, 2017). "CB Morris Claiborne Signs with Jets".
  35. ^ Wesseling, Chris (March 18, 2017). "Jets sign Morris Claiborne as Revis replacement".
  36. ^ Wesseling, Chris (March 15, 2018). "Jets re-sign CB Morris Claiborne to one-year, $7M deal".

External links[edit]