Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 5/1/12
Drafting cornerback Morris Claiborne last week should go a long way in improving the Dallas Cowboys' poor pass defense from the past two seasons. But Claiborne could potentially help in more areas than just covering wide receivers. The player the Cowboys openly admitted was the top defensive player on their draft board could also be used to return kicks, something he did at LSU. In fact, Claiborne is so eager to contribute that he revealed during a local radio interview that he wouldn't mind lining up for a few snaps at wide receiver. "I would love to be a two-way player," Claiborne told "Galloway and Company," a Dallas radio show on 103.3 KESN-FM. "If they gave me that chance and opportunity to go both sides of the ball I'd love it. I won't turn it down. I'd get in and give it 100 percent." Claiborne had a similar response when the possibility of returning kicks was mentioned. "Hopefully that'll be one of the things they'll let me do," Claiborne said. "I think an important part of my game is returning kicks and hopefully they will let me get back there and return a couple whether it's punts or kickoffs." Last season, the 5-foot-11, 188-pounder returned 22 kicks for 552 yards, including a 99-yard touchdown return in a victory over West Virginia. When the Shreveport, Louisiana native first landed in Baton Rouge he had no idea he'd be returning kicks or even playing cornerback. Claiborne was a standout wide receiver in high school but switched positions after taking some advice from former LSU teammate Patrick Peterson, a cornerback that was drafted fifth overall last year by the Arizona Cardinals. During the radio interview, Claiborne explained how the transition was made. "Well when I first came in and stepped foot on campus it was one of my visits," Claiborne said. "Patrick was my host, so he kept on telling me, 'Man you need to move to corner.' I'm like, 'No man, I'm a receiver. I want to make plays with the ball. I want the ball in my hands.' When I got to camp, the coaches wanted me to do... a day at corner, a day at receiver, a day at corner, a day at receiver. I ended up liking corner, so I stayed over in the cornerback room or whatever. Les Miles came and got me and said, 'You don't have a position yet. Just roll with us and let us figure this thing out.' But after I kept making plays at corner, he decided to go ahead and let me stay over there, so that's how it happened." As far as catching a few balls from Tony Romo, it's unlikely but not impossible. Remember, Deion Sanders, the player many have compared Claiborne to, lined up on offense for the Cowboys. Also, losing Laurent Robinson via free agency leaves Dez Bryant and Miles Austin as the only proven wide-outs on the Cowboys' roster. -- Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota
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