IRVING, Texas – Right now, both the Cowboys and Morris Claiborne are focused on him returning to the field on Monday night in Washington.
After missing two straight games with hamstring and ankle injuries, Claiborne is expected to play this week against the Redskins, assuming he has no medical setbacks this week in practice.
But on Thursday, Claiborne allowed himself to think a little beyond this season when asked about becoming an unrestricted free agent next spring.
"You think about it every now and then, like. 'What would I be?' and things like that, but I try not to go too far in depth," Claiborne said. "I stay in the moment, stay where I'm at. When that time comes, I'll handle that then."
The Cowboys made sure the time will come after this season when they decided not to give him a fifth-year option on his original contract for 2015, which likely would've paid him in the $11 million range next year.
"I'm not even trying to look there, but I'm human. I always think about it," Claiborne said. "But I try to keep it here with where I'm at now. "
While Claiborne knows there is a possibility he could be playing for another team next year, he said he currently doesn't prefer to leave.
"I have no idea yet, but I wouldn't rather be anywhere else."
Since being drafted No. 6 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, Claiborne has just three career interceptions, getting one in each of his first three years. So far in 2015, Claiborne has not recorded a pick as the Cowboys have yet to have one interception by a cornerback.
[embeddedad0]Despite that stat, and the fact that he's missed the last two games, Claiborne said he believes this has been the best year of his career.
"Since I've been in the NFL, yes," he said. "I'm more comfortable, feeling healthy, feeling like I can go out and do the things that I was doing when I was in college."
Claiborne missed most of last year with a knee injury, playing in just four games. So far this year, the cornerback has avoided a major injury, but seems focused on the lack of major contributions on the field as well.
"I feel like it was decent, solid," Claiborne said when asked to evaluate his season so far. "I feel like I should have more turnovers. I feel like I should have turnovers. I should have some interceptions that I left out there. But we've got five more games to go out and attempt to get some and try to make some plays on the ball."