Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said this week that he fully expects rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne to be challenged early and often by Eli Manning and co. in his NFL debut on Wednesday night, but head coach Jason Garrett believes the No. 6 overall pick in last April’s draft will be ready for the challenge.
“He will be challenged every time he breaks the huddle,” Garrett said, per the Dallas Morning News. “But I don’t think from a psychological standpoint he’s in awe of making the transition…He’s mature beyond his years because he’s played against the tough competition against really the elite players of college football.”
It’s true that Claiborne is no stranger to the big stage, having played in the 2011 BCS National Championship as a member of the LSU Tigers, but the rookie knows the NFL is a whole different beast.
“I know it’s going to be way bigger,” Claiborne said. “It’s going to be way bigger than the national championship game. I mean it’s the NFL. Everybody’s going to be watching this game.”
Opposite Claiborne on Wednesday night will be another new face in the secondary in Brandon Carr, who was brought in as a free agent this offseason. In what will likely be a baptism by fire, Carr believes his new teammate will be just fine.
“He’ll be all right,” Carr said. “I’ve got faith in him.”
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