Morris Claiborne Leaves Cowboys After Benching: Latest Details and Reaction

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIISeptember 24, 2014

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Updates from Thursday, Sept. 25

ESPN's Tim MacMahon provides Claiborne's thoughts on being benched:

I'm not going to sit here and say, 'No, I don't deserve to start,' because I know I deserve to start," Claiborne said. "But that's not what the coaches see."

What makes Claiborne believe that he merits a starting job?

"Because I've worked, I've worked for it," Claiborne said. "Night and day, I've worked.

Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 24

ESPN's Ed Werder reports on whether Morris Claiborne's apparent unhappiness will become a long-term problem:

Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has an update on Claiborne on Wednesday:

Jason Garrett later discussed the circumstances that led to Claiborne's exit, via the Cowboys:

The head coach also touched on the cornerback's return and discipline for his actions, via the Cowboys and Hill:

As for Claiborne's role for Sunday's game vs. New Orleans, Garrett was noncommittal (via Hill):

Hill provided Claiborne's thoughts on why he left practice on Tuesday:

Original Text

The Dallas Cowboys have invested a lot in cornerback Morris Claiborne, the No. 6 overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft. Now in his third NFL season, Claiborne hasn't lived up to the hype.

On Tuesday, he was reportedly informed that Orlando Scandrick would take his spot in the starting lineup. Claiborne didn't take the news lightly. Or well.

According to Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPNDallas.com, the young defensive back left the Cowboys' training facility and didn't participate in Tuesday's practice, which could result in a fine from the team.

Also included in Taylor's report are owner and general manager Jerry Jones' comments on the matter.

"Is he what we had hoped for at this point when we drafted him with the sixth overall pick, giving up the [second-round] pick to go up to the sixth pick to get him? No," said Jones, via 105.3 The Fan. "But he's going to be a good player."

Although Claiborne had the game-sealing interception in Week 3's comeback victory over the St. Louis Rams, he still gave up a number of big plays in that contest. One notable burn came when Rams wideout Brian Quick beat Claiborne for a 51-yard touchdown to open the second quarter.

ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins criticized Claiborne's play amid the poor effort versus St. Louis:

Scandrick was in action for the first time this season in Week 3 after serving a two-game suspension. Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com felt that Scandrick belongs as a starter on the outside:

Claiborne's reported antics at practice definitely diminish the encouraging ending to his performance this past Sunday.

ESPN's Ed Werder noted that Dallas' maligned defense needs all hands on deck when facing Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints' high-octane offense in Week 4:

America's Team yielded 327 passing yards to unheralded Rams quarterback Austin Davis. There is cause for concern if Claiborne isn't available to face a Super Bowl MVP and record-setting QB in Brees, who also has far more weapons at his disposal.

Standout linebackers Rolando McClain and Justin Durant are dealing with groin injuries, too, making it all the more difficult for Dallas to put up a strong fight against the Saints, even at home.

The Cowboys have given Claiborne every chance to step up and emerge as an elite cornerback. It just hasn't happened, for whatever reason. Claiborne will have to return to the team soon and work hard to gain a foothold at the nickel cornerback spot. Otherwise, Sterling Moore has a chance to beat him out.

Claiborne has the talent to get it done. Whether this benching serves as a last-ditch wake-up call or the last straw in his disappointing Cowboys stint is mostly up to him.

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