Morris Claiborne is still adjusting to the zone

Aug 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) on the bench during the second half against the Houston Texans at AT

The Dallas Cowboys are struggling to defend against the pass, again. For the first time in franchise history they have allowed two quarterbacks to throw for over 400 yards in a single season. The Cowboys pass defense is ranked the 27th best in the NFL allowing an average of 304.5 yards per game.

In both those 400 yard passing games cornerback Morris Claiborne was a target. Claiborne suggested that his struggles were due to the transition to a zone defense from man-to-man coverage.

“We’re not the type of team that we were last year,” Claiborne said, via ESPN Dallas. “We’re not assigned [receivers] and you go wherever he goes, you follow him wherever he goes, and that’s your man. We’re not in that. We don’t do that anymore.

“Now we’re basically a zone team. You have to play within that zone. Everything is new to everybody. When guys come in and hit those big dig routes in between the zones, then of course the corner’s there, so they’re going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s the corner.’

“It’s still a transition. When we were in press, just faced up man to man, they only hit one ball on me. But overall, I think all my big plays come within the zone.”

Well, he will need to adjust quickly. This weekend the Cowboys are trying to keep Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning in check. The Broncos are averaging 44.75 points per game this year, and Peyton Manning is averaging 361.3 yards and 4 touchdowns a game.

Topics: Dallas Cowboys, Morris Claiborne

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