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Morris Claiborne 'shocked' 'Boys took him in NFL draft

NEW YORK -- The Dallas Cowboys hadn't been connected to LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne leading up to the NFL draft, but it makes perfect sense that they targeted him Thursday night.

Tony Romo often is viewed as the problem in Dallas, but that's not even remotely fair. Romo is an above-average QB. Check out last season's excellent stats for proof. What he -- and the Cowboys -- needed most was help on defense.

The Cowboys started that by dishing out $50 million on the first day of free agency to sign cornerback Brandon Carr away from the Kansas City Chiefs. Now they pair him with Claiborne, the type of player capable of shutting down another team's top receiver.

"Use the word elite, we think he is," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told The Associated Press. "I think he's the most consensus pick and the most consensus move I can ever remember on our draft day."

Claiborne spoke with just after he was drafted and expressed amazement that the Cowboys took him, not to mention traded up from No. 14 to No. 6 to do it.

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"I was shocked," Claiborne said. "They didn't even talk to me."

It was welcome news. Claiborne said his family is full of Cowboys fans, and he cried when he heard he was drafted by them. Now he's joining a loaded secondary.

With Mike Jenkins still under contract, the Cowboys now have a talented trio that quickly turns a team weakness into a strength.

"I know they sacrificed to come down to get me, but I feel like I'm worth it," Claiborne told The AP. "I know my talents, I know what I'm able to do and feel like I can come in right away and get with the team, learn the system and compete."

Perhaps we should have seen this coming. Jones loves trading up in the first round. He just did it again.

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