Claiborne not playing with technique or confidence, Cowboys coach Garrett says

Posted Monday, Sep. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Cornerback Morris Claiborne, picked on repeatedly by Philip Rivers and the Chargers in Sunday’s loss, is playing with poor technique and low confidence, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday.

“They went to him too much in this ballgame, and they were too effective,” Garrett said. “He’s just got to play better, and he will play better.”

Against two-receiver sets, the Cowboys have already demoted Claiborne, going with Orlando Scandrick in his place. But against three-receiver sets, Claiborne returns to the outside, and Scandrick goes to the slot.

The Cowboys are not ready to go with rookie B.W. Webb in the slot to allow Scandrick to stay outside.

“We feel like the combination we had out there is the best combination. And if we thought otherwise, we would make that change,” Garrett said. “But what [Claiborne] needs to do is just play better. He needs to play with the right technique and do it consistently, over and over and over again.”

Cornerback Brandon Carr said Claiborne understands if Scandrick has moved ahead of him.

“Orlando is playing some good ball right now,” Carr said. “Now it’s a time where they feel comfortable with Orlando playing. Mo is a team player. He’s going to buy into it. He’s going to compete. It’s not the time for feelings or anything political. It’s all just business, and we are trying to put the best 11 out there to win ballgames.”

Carter problems

Linebacker Bruce Carter had a foot injury in the second half against the Chargers, but Jason Garrett also criticized him for his play after running back Danny Woodhead scored two touchdown catches against him.

“Bruce had some problems covering their guys,” Garrett said. “He didn’t cover him that well, and there some other things going on in our other coverage that he didn’t do quite enough of a good job on.”

Carter played 48 snaps, and backup Ernie Sims played 27.

Garrett, asked if it was an effort issue with Carter, said, “Just didn’t play to his capabilities. One of the best things he does is, he covers guys. … It’s a challenging situation to be in, but he’s capable of covering those guys well and just didn’t get it done.”

Injury updates

Jason Garrett said the Cowboys don’t believe the injuries to defensive ends DeMarcus Ware and George Selvie are “serious, serious injuries,” but that the players will have to deal with them during the week.

Ware was sidelined part of the game with what he said was a strained muscle in his back. Garrett said Selvie has a head injury and “will go through the process that everyone who has a head injury goes through over the course of the week. That’s how they described it to me.”

Receiver Dwayne Harris said his hip was sore during the game but that it did not slow him.

Receiver Miles Austin declined to give an update on his hamstring injury, saying only that he was headed to the training room.

Effort play

Jason Garrett agreed that receiver Terrance Williams was making an “effort play” on his fourth-quarter fumble, but he said the rookie has to learn from the experience.

“He catches it short of the goal line, and he wants to get in, and he extends the ball, and one of the things he’s going to learn as a young player is when you’re in those situations, guys are fantastic at getting the ball out — it’s a physical game, and they’re going to knock the ball out,” Garrett said. “So he’ll learn from that experience.”

Williams was down on himself after the game, saying he felt like he had let a lot of people down.

“You want guys who it matters to, and it certainly matters to him, and he wants to do well, and he puts pressure on himself to do well, and that’s a good thing for a young player,” Garrett said. “We’ll continue to work with him and talk to him about going to the next play, whether it’s a successful play or a play that doesn’t go your way. He’ll learn from this whole experience.”

Carlos Mendez 817-390-7407 Twitter: @calexmendez

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