Morris Claiborne has not played up to being the sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft. He’s been sidelined with numerous injuries and has underwhelmed when healthy.
But owner Jerry Jones says the Cowboys have seen enough to pick up Claiborne’s 2016 option this spring.
Asked point-blank if he felt Claiborne had done enough to justify that, Jones responded: “Yes. Yes I do.”
But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Cowboys will follow through on that. Jones might have simply been publicly defending a player who has been labeled as a big-time bust.
Picking up Claiborne’s fifth year option in 2016 this spring is an extremely risky proposition at this point. He is owed $11 million that season, regardless of his injury status, and it’s unknown if he will even be healthy to start next season.
Claiborne, 24, suffered a season-ending injury in Week 4 against New Orleans, rupturing a patellar tendon in his left knee. He then underwent surgery to have his right knee scoped earlier this month.
Claiborne is hoping to be ready for training camp, but there is no guarantees for now. That’s why it’s too early to tell whether Jones’ words should be taken literally, or simply as a vote of confidence for Claiborne.