Sources out of Valley Ranch are claiming that the Dallas Cowboys have signed their first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, cornerback Morris Claiborne, making him the last of Dallas’ rookie class to sign with the team.
Claiborne, a consensus first-team All-American for the LSU Tigers, was widely regarded as the best defensive prospect in this year’s draft. He was the 2012 Jim Thorpe award winner, an honor given to college football’s best defensive back.
The Cowboys, in desperate need of some strong players to fill a weak secondary, traded their 1st and 2nd round draft picks to the St. Louis Rams, allowing them to move up eight spots in order to pick the 5’11″, 188-pound cornerback with the six overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.
The parties both agreed to a 4-year deal worth $16.26 million, all guaranteed. Reportedly, the previous point of contention regarding off-set language has been resolved, meaning the Cowboys will be responsible for the amount wether or not they re-sign Claiborne after his rookie season.
Claiborne, who missed off-season practices with an injury to his wrist, was recently cleared to play and is expected to compete for the starting job from day one.
After fielding an incredibly weak secondary over the last couple of seasons, the Cowboys are hoping that Claiborne will live up to the hype. He joins returning players Orlando Scandrick and Mike Jenkins as well as Brandon Carr, the former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback who was picked up by the Cowboys in free agency this spring.
Dallas will host a 3-day mini-camp for rookies beginning on Wednesday this week at Valley Ranch before heading to Oxnard, Ca. as training camp officially begins next Monday.