If anyone thinks the Cowboys have had a dramatic offseason because of Mike Jenkins' decision not to report to voluntary practices, consider the case of the Jets' Darrelle Revis, who is unhappy with his own contract.
Now, Jenkins is a fine corner, but he's no Revis, who is widely considered the best in the game. And while Jenkins may only be coming to work when he has to, Revis isn't even guaranteeing that. Two years into a four-year, $46 million contract, he has the latitude to hold out of camp if he so chooses, and he's not closing the book on that just yet.
It's good to be the king, evidently, and Revis is undoubtedly that, so much so that the chart-throbs over at ProFootballFocus.com have rolled out a story in search of cornerbacks who have even a chance to (one day, maybe) be mentioned in the same class as Revis.
The Cowboys spent $50 million this spring for Brandon Carr, but he isn't in the conversation. Last year's top free agent cornerback, Jonathan Joseph of the Texans, was considered, as was Carr's former Chiefs teammate Brandon Flowers, the guy Kansas City chose to keep instead of Carr.
Arguably a bigger investment than the big bucks paid to Carr this year was the draft night trade upward for Morris Claiborne.
That night, Claiborne identified Carr as the standard he's chasing in the NFL.
"He's on that level where not too many of the guys are doing the things he's doing," Claiborne said. "I believe I can be that type of player also."
PFF agrees. Along with Seattle's Richard Sherman, Arizona's Patrick Peterson and Baltimore's Jimmy Smith, Claiborne is placed in a class of "Youngsters" who have the talent to be a true shutdown corner, like Revis. That's high praise coming from a site that focuses only on the pro game, and has yet to grade a single snap of Claiborne against NFL talent.
Claiborne's ability is too obvious, though:
*"[I]n watching some of his LSU tape he plays the ball in the air better than any corner of recent memory. He showed an incredible ability to lock down a receiver in man coverage and then become the receiver when the ball was in the air. Who knows if he will translate to the NFL, or if he will become another in a long line of draft busts, but he is a player to keep an eye on if nothing else."
*Now, Claiborne hasn't practiced at all this summer, so there are still some unknowns as to whether he can handle a crafty veteran like Miles Austin, or a superior physical talent like Dez Bryant, but almost every league scout seems to think so.
Jerry Jones revealed on draft night that Claiborne had the highest grade the Cowboys had given a defensive back since Deion Sanders.
Imagine what adding a player like Revis or Sanders could do for this defense. If Claiborne is even close, no one will be worried about the second-round pick the team had to trade to move up and get him.