Claiborne likely out for preseason finale

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne will "probably not" play in the team's Thursday preseason finale, executive vice president and director of player personnel Stephen Jones said.

This would mark the second consecutive preseason that Claiborne, the sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft, did not play a down. The Cowboys coaches hoped to get him some action Thursday against the Denver Broncos after Claiborne missed one game with knee tendinitis and the last two due to a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder.

"Just not worth the risk to go backwards," Jones said after the team's kickoff luncheon. "You know those shoulder injuries; they get sore on you quickly. After really going over it with our trainers and doctors, probably the better decision here is to let him get fully healed and then put him out there."

Claiborne returned to practice this week, saying Tuesday that he's ready for game action despite still feeling soreness in the shoulder.

Defensive tackle Henry Melton, the team's other starter who has yet to play this preseason, is expected to get some snaps against the Broncos.

Melton, whose final season with the Chicago Bears ended early due to a torn ACL suffered in September, missed the last two weeks because of a strained groin. Jones said Melton indicated he wanted to play in the preseason finale to chip off some rust before the regular season begins.

"He's ready to go and I think he just wants the peace of mind that he's going to feel good when he starts against the 49ers," Jones said.