Dallas Cowboys

Morris Claiborne leads NFL in lowest completion percentage vs. him

Cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) is carrying his weight this season for the Cowboys, something he didn’t do his first four seasons.
Cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) is carrying his weight this season for the Cowboys, something he didn’t do his first four seasons. kbouaphanh@star-telegram.com

Morris Claiborne leads the NFL with the lowest completion percentage against him among cornerbacks who have been targeted at least 20 times.

“I didn’t know that,” Claiborne said Friday.

Quarterbacks have thrown at Claiborne 24 times. He’s allowed only nine catches for 90 yards and no touchdowns, a 37.5 completion percentage against him, according to STATS, Inc.

49ers cornerback Tramaine Brock and Cincinnati cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick both have allowed five catches the 14 times they were targeted the first three games, allowing a 35.7 completion percentage.

“It’s just Week 4,” Claiborne said. “I’m just hoping to keep improving each and every week. Just go out and try to do my job. Just try to control my side of the field as much as I can.”

Claiborne, though, obviously has played better this season than his previous four seasons. His 16 tackles rank fourth on the team, and he has a tackle for loss and a defensed pass.

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli cited Claiborne’s “tackling” and “hitting.”

“I just think his confidence is growing every day,” Marinelli said. “But he’s practicing. He’s on the field every day. We know he’s got talent. That’s never been the issue. But now he’s out there every single day working. He’s on top of the details, all those things. As a player, when you have talent like that, and when you put together kind of the grind and the work, the improvement starts showing.”

Claiborne missed 24 of a possible 64 games with injuries his first four seasons after the Cowboys made him the sixth overall choice. He also missed more than his share of training camp practices, preseason games and regular-season practices.

Practicing has made a difference this season.

“It’s great to go out and get those reps, to be dialed in, to know what’s going on,” Claiborne said. “Just to be out there. Those reps are very important.”

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