The Cowboys could not have been more excited to move up from the 14th pick to the sixth pick of the first round to land LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. Unfortunately, the gratifying moment of seeing Claiborne on the field in Cowboys colors for the first time is still on hold.
Claiborne had wrist surgery before the draft, which meant that he was unlikely to take the field until Cowboys training camp opened in July. Last week, Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com reported that Claiborne said he hoped to be fully recovered and ready for the team's mini camp from June 12-14.
This weekend, Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com reported on Twitter that the more optimistic timeline was not going to happen:
Talk of Mo Claiborne being ready to go in June. Not the case. Should be able to start running next week. Still looking at training camp.— Bryan Broaddus (@BryanBroaddus) May 19, 2012
Broaddus clarified that Claiborne was not running yet, even though the wrist is not essential to that action, because they didn't want him to "shake his equipment loose."
It's important to note that this is not a setback, as Claiborne returning for camp was the plan all along. Still, it's a small blow, as the team will certainly start Claiborne from day one at left cornerback.
The delay could provide an opportunity for Mike Jenkins to either be showcased for a trade or present his case to hold Claiborne out of the starting lineup at first, but Jenkins is still recovering from shoulder surgery and he hasn't been participating in the team's voluntary offseason program.
Owner Jerry Jones acted decisively to counteract the Giants and other dynamic passing games in the NFC by assembling his own dynamic duo of cornerbacks—Claiborne and $50 million free-agent pickup Brandon Carr—but they won't get to take the field together for the first time until a little over a month before that opening tilt.