Legendary Cowboys cornerback Everson Walls and current cornerback Morris Claiborne began their NFL careers in very different places.
Walls joined the team as an undrafted free agent out of Grambling State back in 1981. The Cowboys traded up to land Claiborne with the sixth overall pick of the 2012 draft out of LSU. But where Walls immediately overachieved--going to four Pro Bowls in his first five seasons in the league--Claiborne has continued to underachieve. He even lost his starting job to Orlando Scandrick last year.
But Walls still thinks Claiborne can live up to the expectations that have surrounded him since he arrived at Valley Ranch, and he has an idea of how he might get there.
“I really do,” Walls told the team’s official website. “They talk about Mo’s strength, saying he needs to increase his strength. That could be so, but what I see in Mo is because he’s thinking so much with his brain, his feet stop working. I’ve seen it happen to so many players. I played with a couple of guys like that--they have the guy covered, but when you play cornerback and that ball is in the air and you know that ball is in the air and you know everyone’s watching, you know everyone’s depending on you, it takes a special kind of person to fulfill those wishes for the fans and for yourself and for your teammates.
“You can feel that pressure when it’s in the air, and you have to embrace it. You just do. You have to embrace it and realize that you’re entitled just as much as the person with the ball.”
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