Expectations for Morris Claiborne need to be tempered

Dial back the expectations for the best cornerback since Deion Sanders, at least for one season.

Of course, that toast was probably burnt the moment Jerry Jones boasted to anybody who would listen that the Dallas Cowboys had given Morris Claiborne a higher draft grade than any corner since Prime Time.

Kind of makes you wonder whether Cowboys scouts saw any Michigan games the year Charles Woodson won the Heisman Trophy, huh? Maybe it was just Jerry's justification for packaging his first two picks to move up to sixth overall to draft Claiborne. Or perhaps it was just Jerry doing what he does best -- creating hype.

Not that the Cowboys aren't truly in love with Claiborne. There's no question they envision him developing into an elite player at a premier position.

Right now, though, they need to make sure Claiborne is buckled up for what will almost certainly be a roller coaster rookie season.

That's not a knock on Claiborne, whose credentials include the Thorpe Award and an SEC Defensive Player of the Year honor. It's just NFL reality for rookie cornerbacks.

It doesn't matter how high they're drafted. Rookie corners tend to struggle, especially if they start right away.

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