IRVING, Texas – Having fought back from a serious 2014 knee injury, Mo Claiborne hopes he's able to finish the 2015 season on the field this Sunday after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury.
And although he's focused solely on the Cowboys' season finale against the Washington Redskins, the fourth-year cornerback reiterated his desire to stay in Dallas next season.
"Oh, without a doubt," said Claiborne, whose rookie contract is set to expire after the season.
Claiborne has battled injuries since the Cowboys (4-11) traded up to draft him with the sixth overall pick in 2012. In his first three seasons, he appeared in 29 of a possible 48 games and spent the final 12 games last year on injured reserve with a torn patellar tendon in his left knee that required surgery.
After a long and successful rehab with team athletic trainers and strength and conditioning staff, Claiborne returned this year to start the first nine games at right cornerback. In 11 games he has 42 tackles and ranks second on the team with nine pass breakups.
"I think Mo has done a really good job overcoming some of these injuries that he's had," head coach Jason Garrett said Monday. "His approach has been outstanding – he's had a very good year for us.
"I'm really proud of how Mo has worked through some of the things he's had – some of the major injuries he's had – to come back and be as productive as he's been this year."
Now Claiborne hopes to finish the season in the lineup after missing four of the last six games with a combination of ankle and hamstring injuries. He says his hamstring is feeling better, and Garrett said the team is hopeful he can progress as the week goes on leading into the finale.
"It's been tough just watching my guys out there playing," Claiborne said. "No matter what the record looks like, I'd rather be out there with them.
"It's just one of those things I've just got to keep taking it day by day, seeing how I feel through the week. And if I can go (Sunday), I'm going to go."
Sunday is the focus. His future beyond Sunday can wait.
"I'm just going to leave it until when it's time to deal with that," he said. "There's no sense in me stressing over it and worrying myself about things you can't handle. Just let it roll how it's going and hope for the best. But I know it's a business at the end of the day.
"Whatever happens, I've just got to go with it and just try to make myself a better player and a better person from it and grow from it, whatever decision is made."
He does have a preference, though.
"I'd rather be here," he said.