Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 3/5/13
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr says Morris Claiborne "held his own" during his rookie season. Claiborne was the No. 1 defensive player on the Cowboys' draft board. The franchise showed their commitment by trading up and drafting the cornerback with the sixth overall selection. Claiborne, who finished with one interception, eight passes defended and 55 tackles, didn't experience a smooth transition from college to the pros. He missed all of rookie mini-camp, organized team activities and mini-camp because of a surgically repaired left wrist. The LSU standout then missed some of training camp with a left knee injury and one regular season game with a concussion. Carr, a five-year veteran, talked on Friday about how much Claiborne can improve in his second year with a full offseason under his belt. "It's a full offseason for him to get better in the classroom and on the field," Carr said after reading to children for a United Way event at Edward Titche Elementary School in Dallas. "His confidence was already soaring as the season was coming to an end, so he needs to continue to bring that each week." Claiborne's progression will also hinge on how quickly he can adapt to a new defensive scheme. Carr, who signed with the Cowboys last March, said Monte Kiffin's 4-3 alignment "kind of caters to what they brought us in to do." Carr played in a similar system during his four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. "At the end of the day it's going to turn into man-to-man," Carr said. "You just have to have the mindset that you're going to shut down your side of the field. I talked to Claiborne and we're both on the same page. The coaches seem pretty enthused with the game plan that we're going to be bringing to the games. It's just all about us going out there and getting repetitions and getting better as a team." Perhaps the biggest adjustment for all of the Cowboys' cornerbacks will be preparing to make more tackles at the line of scrimmage. "They already told us to pretty much get ready for 16 weeks of being as physical as you can be," Carr said. Not only disrupting the timing of the receivers but also when our number is called to come up and stop the run and come up and tackle. "That's what corners were doing in the playoffs. That's what secondaries are doing, stopping those big runs and at the same time still covering. So it's going to take all 11 guys this year to get the job done and we finally see that now." An increased emphasis on tackling running backs likely means Claiborne, 5-11, 185 pounds, will need to add some weight. Carr, who is 6-0, 210 pounds, said he is already at his desired size. "I've played five years now with this weight," Carr said. "It's just that our mentality is going to change this year. It's just all 11 guys go out and dictate the flow of the game. Defense is supposed to be the aggressors and the ones making you make a decision out there, so that's what we got to get back to." Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Paul George extremely critical of Pacers following trade deadline

Chris Bosh joining TNT as analyst

Cameron Payne will have chance to shine with Bulls

Danny Ainge opens up about why Celtics didn’t make a trade before deadline

Kevin Durant wants to be NBA GM or owner after playing career

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Mavericks discussing buyout with Deron Williams

T-Wolves reportedly backed away from Ricky Rubio-Derrick Rose trade

DeMarcus Cousins calls duo with Anthony Davis ‘Fire and Ice’

Reasons why 76ers got so little for Nerlens Noel emerge

John Lynch: 49ers ‘absolutely’ need to improve at QB position

Report: Raptors trade Jared Sullinger, two future picks to Suns for P.J. Tucker

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/23: Gillon's buzzer-beater blast for the win

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker