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Cowboys’ top pick Claiborne enthusiastic

IRVING – Dallas Cowboys first-round pick Morris Claiborne nearly let his emotions get the best of him while talking on the phone Thursday night with Jerry Jones.”Once I got that call,” Claiborne said, “it was like everything came back to me: all the hard work, all the time I put into it. And just looking at my family, knowing they are the biggest Cowboys fans ever, looking at their faces just made me tear up.”The Cowboys introduced Claiborne to the media Friday after he flew in from New York. Surrounded by his parents, son, girlfriend and other loved ones, the cornerback from LSU received jersey No. 24 from Jones and then admitted it hadn’t sunk in that he’ll be playing for the team he grew up rooting for in Shreveport, La.”It’s getting there,” Claiborne, 22, said. “It still feels like it isn’t real, but I know it’s real. I’m just so excited to get in, to get to work, to get around my teammates.”Must-have playerThe Cowboys traded up eight spots to select Claiborne sixth. In doing so, they surrendered their second-round pick (No. 45 overall) to St. Louis. “You don’t want to trade up like that every time,” Dallas vice president Stephen Jones said. “It has to be for a certain position. It has to be for a certain quality of player. A guy like Morris doesn’t come around every year. He’s got some unique ball skills you rarely see.”The high expectations don’t bother Claiborne. Speaking in a relaxed style and oozing confidence, he struck all the right notes at his introductory news conference. In 10 minutes, Claiborne took on all questions, including one about whether he shares the same Hall of Fame aspirations Cowboys 2011 first-rounder Tyron Smith admitted to when introduced last year.”I set my goals pretty high, but I know you got to take it one goal at a time,” Claiborne said. “You can’t just settle when you reach one goal. This is a goal of mine right here, getting to the NFL, and I made it. So I have set my goal another step higher, and that’s to get with my teammates, win ballgames and hopefully a Super Bowl.”Who knows what happens after that? Hopefully, the Hall of Fame.”Sanders comparisonJerry Jones has linked Claiborne to Hall of Famer Deion Sanders.”That’s awesome,” Claiborne said. “Any time you hear your name in the same sentence as Deion, you’ve got to be doing something right.” In another sign of confidence, Claiborne continued to speak frankly about his dismal performance on the Wonderlic test. The Cowboys ignored the low test score, preferring to rely on information gathered from LSU coach Les Miles, a former Cowboys assistant.”Every report from people who know him well said he’s an outstanding person,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. The Wonderlic test is administered at the NFL combine to measure a player’s aptitude for processing information and problem solving. Claiborne reportedly scored a 4, the lowest mark in more than a decade.But Claiborne said he “pretty much blew the test off” after discovering the questions had nothing to do with football.

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