Dallas Cowboys

Cornerback Mo Claiborne opts for fresh start with New York Jets

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Washington CB Sidney Jones is a popular mock draft choice for the Cowboys at No. 28.
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Washington CB Sidney Jones is a popular mock draft choice for the Cowboys at No. 28.

The mass exodus in Dallas continued Saturday when cornerback Morris Claiborne officially signed with the New York Jets.

Claiborne reached a one-year, $5 million deal with the Jets.

Claiborne is the latest former starter and/or major contributor to leave the Cowboys in free agency.

He joins safeties Barry Church (Jacksonville) and J.J. Wilcox (Tampa Bay), guard Ron Leary (Denver), defensive end Jack Crawford (Atlanta), defensive tackle Terrell McClain (Washington), running back Lance Dunbar (Los Angeles Rams) and cornerback Brandon Carr (Baltimore).

The Cowboys had some interest in bringing back Claiborne, but he got a better deal for a fresh start in New York.

It brings to a close a largely disappointing turn for Claiborne in Dallas, where he never lived up to expectations after being picked sixth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.

The Cowboys moved up 10 spots to select Claiborne, an LSU product, whom they claimed was the best cornerback prospect since Deion Sanders.

But Claiborne was considered a bust heading into last season because of injuries and a lack of impact. He looked to finally be ready to live up to expectations last season with a strong start to 2016 before missing the final nine games then returning for the playoffs.

All totaled, Claiborne missed 33 of a possible 85 games in his five seasons with the Cowboys. He had four interceptions in five years.

The Cowboys signed veteran cornerback Nolan Carroll to give them depth at cornerback as they braced for the departures of Claiborne and Carr.

Clarence Hill: 817-390-7760, @clarencehilljr

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