The Dallas Cowboys drafted Morris Claiborne with the knowledge that he was recovering from wrist surgery and the understanding that he wouldn't be on the practice field before July. But to hear Claiborne tell it, June may well be a possibility. Per Todd Archer:
"I hope to be fully recovered and ready for that," Claiborne said of the Cowboys' June 12-14 mandatory minicamp.
Claiborne had the pins removed from his wrist last week and he remains in a soft cast and unable to do even conditioning work. He said his plan is to be put in a splint next week and able to take part in the beginning of the organized team activities in a limited fashion.
"I'm so eager and ready," Claiborne said. "It's hard just sitting there, watching, knowing you can do it but you've just got one small thing wrong with you holding you back. But I'm looking forward to it and trying to push that up."
Hey, it's a good sign that the young man is eager to get at it. As Todd points out, the final call will be that of the Cowboys' training staff, and they won't let him on the field if there's a chance he could injure himself more seriously and miss more significant time. If he's cleared to play in June, that's a valuable extra couple of weeks running around in Rob Ryan's defense and a greater head start on a season in which the spotlight will be on the rookie. As I said last week, there are few rookies if any in the league who will play under more pressure to perform instantly in 2012, and the more Claiborne can do to be ready to offer a solution to the Cowboys' pass defense problems right away, the better he'll set himself up.