Morris Claiborne: Should Dallas Cowboys Be in a Hurry to Sign 1st-Round Pick?

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIJune 18, 2012

IRVING, TX - MAY 5:  Morris Claiborne #24 of the Dallas Cowboys attends rookie mini camp on May 5, 2012 at the Valley Ranch Complex in Irving, Texas. Claiborne is sidelined with a wrist injury. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

Morris Claiborne is now the only Dallas Cowboys draft pick left to sign, with Kyle Wilber signing with the team on Friday, per ESPNDallas-Fort Worth. Claiborne's party doesn't seem far away from the Cowboys in negotiations. Still, Cowboys fans must wonder how long it will take for Claiborne's deal to be completed.

Seemingly, the Cowboys don't have much more to configure with Claiborne's agent, Bus Cook. The Dallas Morning News noted that one issue to address is the offset language that has often gone in rookie contracts since last year's collective bargaining agreement.

The offset language requires that any team that signs an NFL rookie to his first contract only has to pay the difference if they cut the player and another team picks him up.

Cowboys vice president of player personnel Stephen Jones said that people shouldn't worry about the progress in negotiations.

In the aforementioned Dallas Morning News article, Jones said, "...I don't see any reason to be alarmed or concerned. It's a different system now. With the rookie system now and the wage scale, there's not the negotiating that there's been in the past."

Claiborne told the San Antonio Express-News that he isn't concerned either, saying, "Everything I've been hearing is it's going good. Those guys (his representatives) are professionals at that."

Two other factors reduce the need for concern for Cowboys fans. First, training camp is still more than 40 days away. The Cowboys and Cook have plenty of time to work out the remaining issues. If the two sides are as close as Jones says they are, then it shouldn't take nearly that long.

Second, Claiborne isn't missing out on anything right now due to not having his deal completed. He's been keyed in during minicamp despite his wait for a contract, and Jason Garrett told the San Antonio Express-News that he's worked hard while recovering from his wrist injury.

"...[H]e's a great example, really getting locked into meetings. You see him at practice and walkthroughs, shadowing that corner, trying to emulate it as much as he can," Garrett said.

The Cowboys, which NBC Dallas-Fort Worth noted to have been slow to sign draftees in the past, are moving along well in this process. Cowboys fans can be happy to see that almost all of the team's draftees have contracts.

If all goes well, then Claiborne should be under contract fairly soon and ready to help boost the Dallas secondary.