Cowboys-Rams Trade: Morris Claiborne Move a Smart One for Dallas

James DudkoFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 05:  Morris Claiborne #17 of the LSU Tigers against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys' trade for Morris Claiborne was a superb draft-day move and the smartest decision the team could have made tonight. The Cowboys traded their second-round pick to the St. Louis Rams to swap first-rounders, according to

In doing so, the Cowboys added a potential shutdown cornerback to their suspect secondary. By pairing Claiborne with free-agent acquisition Brandon Carr, the Cowboys have instantly turned their main team weakness into a strength.

Even though this draft class is deep at the cornerback position, Claiborne is undoubtedly the best choice for the Cowboys. He is noted for his exceptional ball skills and his penchant for turnovers is a superb complement to the pass rush provided by Jay Ratliff and DeMarcus Ware.

In Rob Ryan's heavy blitz, multiple front schemes, the Cowboys need a clutch of quality corners. Specifically they need cornerbacks who can handle one-on-one responsibilities.

Claiborne has the size, fluidity and instincts to be the press corner the Dallas defense has been missing. Cornerback was always the position the Cowboys had to focus on with their first pick. 

Adding a safety like Mark Barron might have been an option, but Brodney Poole arrived in free agency and has experience of Ryan's schemes. Dontari Poe was another name linked, but with the superb Jay Ratliff lining up over center, the Cowboys have no need for a nose tackle.

With corners they can trust, Ryan can unleash the full range of his blitz packages without his defense being torched in the manner they were in two decisive defeats against the New York Giants.

Claiborne is an obvious counter to the weapons in the NFC East. Receivers like Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz of the Giants and DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin of the Philadelphia Eagles are now joined by Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan for the Washington Redskins.

Not to mention the fact that Eli Manning and Michael Vick are now joined by Robert Griffin III. The Cowboys have answered their biggest need and can now look for a defensive end in the mid-rounds.