"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.