NFL Draft Trades 2012: Cowboys' Trade for Morris Claiborne Stroke of Genius

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IApril 26, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Morris Claiborne (R)from LSU holds up a jersey as he stands on stage after he was selected #6 overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of during the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Jerry Jones' decision to trade the Dallas Cowboys' second-round pick to move up for Morris Claiborne was a brilliant move.

I haven't always agreed with Jones' draft-day picks—many of them have turned out to be complete failures—but I have to give him all the credit he deserves for this bold move.

Claiborne is one of this year's elite playmakers, and I had him ranked third on my board. There is no way he would have fallen past the Rams had they stayed at No. 6. 

Elite cornerbacks are hard to come by, and if you have an opportunity to land one you should never pass up the chance to do so. The best part is that the Cowboys didn't have to give up much to land Claiborne.

Per ProFootballTalk.com, Jones only had to give the St. Louis Rams his second-round selection (45th-overall) to trade up eight spots—a steal for the Cowboys.

Considering that the Cowboys struggled to defend the pass last season—ranking 23rd in the NFL in passing yards allowed—Jones has significantly upgraded what was their primary weakness.

First, he lured in Brandon Carr via free agency, signing him to a five-year, $50 million contract. Now he adds Claiborne, though he won't have to pay the young star nearly as much to start.

Carr is a big corner, at 6'1" and 207 pounds, and he loves to tackle. 

Claiborne isn't quite as big, at 5'11" and 188 pounds, but he is just as physical and isn't afraid to punish the ball carrier with monster hits.

Both men are excellent cover-corners, and they will form a dynamic duo that will get better with time. 

Jones' decision to make this bold move will pay dividends over the next four-to-five years, and the Cowboys now have one of the most imposing secondaries in the NFL.