The Dallas Cowboys did the unthinkable in the 2012 NFL Draft by trading up eight spots from No. 14 to No. 6 overall and taking LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. Many believed Claiborne would be gone by the No. 3 pick to the Minnesota Vikings, but they traded down one spot with the Cleveland Browns and took USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil. The move that really opened the door for Dallas was the Jacksonville Jaguars trading up from No. 7 to No. 5 to take Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon. This moved the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of the top 5 and allowed Dallas to swoop in and steal Claiborne at No. 6.
The Cowboys undoubtedly got a stud in Claiborne, who is easily the best cornerback in this year’s draft and is sure to be a solid starter at the next level. The Cowboys obviously don’t plan on Mike Jenkins being around longer than the 2012 season, the final year in his contract.
While Claiborne, Jenkins and the recently-signed Brandon Carr would make arguably the best three-cornerback combo in the league, it won’t happen. Dallas signed Orlando Scandrick to a big deal before the 2011 season, so he’ll be the No. 3 guy behind Carr and Claiborne following the 2012 season.
To move up, Dallas awarded the St. Louis Rams with its second-round pick, which is a hefty price for such a jump. However, the Cowboys had a plan and stuck to it, landing a stud player who is sure to be a cornerstone on Rob Ryan’s defense for the next decade.