Sanders was the Atlanta Falcons' fifth overall pick from Florida State in the 1989 draft.
Thursday night, when the Cowboys discussed making a trade for Claiborne with the St. Louis Rams, team scouts told owner/general manager Jerry Jones only one man had higher grades.
"Deion was special with his burst," Jones said. "But certainly he is the best they have graded for us since Deion. That would have included Deion after he came in here. Deion had the highest touchdown-per-touch of any player in NFL history."
Claiborne's high-grade was also higher than Terence Newman, who was the Cowboys' first-round pick, fifth overall in 2003.
Last year, LSU's Patrick Peterson was the highest graded corner coming out of the draft, but Jones said Claiborne's grade was better than his.
Claiborne said he compares himself, not to Sanders or Peterson but to the New York Jets' Darrelle Revis.
"He’s on that level where not too many of the guys are doing the things that he’s doing and I believe I can be that type of player also," Claiborne said.