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Morris Claiborne dropped to 150 pounds after surgeries

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The Dallas Cowboys declined cornerback Morris Claiborne's fifth-year option in May, but that doesn't mean the organization has given up on the former first-round draft pick.

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"I think Claiborne has a real good chance to surprise," owner Jerry Jones said recently, via the team's official website.

The Cowboys were similarly optimistic about Claiborne last summer before knee tendinitis, a shoulder injury and a torn patellar tendon ruined his 2014 season.

Claiborne not only underwent patellar tendon surgery on his left knee in early October, but also had December surgery on his right knee to prevent potential problems with the patellar tendon.

Forced to use crutches for months, Claiborne ended up losing 30-40 pounds.

"Man, I got all the way down to 150," Claiborne said. "I'm all the way back to 172 now, and I'm getting closer to my playing weight of 180."

Although Claiborne expects to be ready to practice when training camp opens in five weeks, patellar tendon injuries are notorious for sapping speed and cutting ability.

It will be interesting to see if Claiborne can force his way back into the rotation now that the Cowboys have promising first-round pick Byron Jones behind Orlando Scandrick and Brandon Carr.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes back Colleen Wolfe to discuss non-Super Bowl contenders, and an all-new 'Orr You Kidding Me.' Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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