IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys obviously have high expectations for first-round pick Morris Claiborne.
First, the Cowboys traded up eight spots and lost their second-round draft pick to get Claiborne sixth overall.
Owner Jerry Jones then immediately talked about Claiborne being a difference-maker. He called the All-American from LSU the best cornerback prospect team scouts have graded since Deion Sanders, the Hall of Famer who was a key part of their last Super Bowl championship 16 years ago.
"That's awesome. Anytime you can hear your name in the same sentence as Deion, you've got to be doing something right," Claiborne said Friday. "Deion is a great player and he left a mark here with the Dallas Cowboys and he's moved on. I'm one of the players coming up now and I'm going to try to leave my mark."
Claiborne said he is motivated by and welcomes such expectations.
During his introduction at the team's Valley Ranch facility, Claiborne was presented with jersey No. 24. Among former Cowboys who wore that number were cornerbacks Everson Walls and Larry Brown, the MVP in their last Super Bowl victory after two second-half interceptions.
"It still feels like it isn't real, but I know it's real," Claiborne said. "I'm just so excited to get in, to get to work, to get around my teammates."
Though the Cowboys went into the second day of the draft without a second-round pick, they felt Claiborne was well worth it. The only player they had rated higher on their draft board was Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who as expected was taken first overall by Indianapolis.
"He plays a premium position we think he's an outstanding athlete, an elite athlete and an outstanding person," coach Jason Garrett said. "Corner is a premium position. ... It gives you a lot of freedom to do things on defense if you have a guy who can shut somebody down or take a receiver out of a game."
It will still be some time before the Cowboys will actually get to see Claiborne on the field.
Claiborne still has a cast on his left wrist from surgery after the NFL combine to repair some ligament damage. He said he will have to wear that cast for two more weeks, then will get the pins out and have to wear a soft cast after that.
That means Claiborne won't be able to participate in the Cowboys' rookie minicamp next week, and his availability for other offseason workouts is very questionable. He is expected to be fully ready for the start of training camp in late July.
Asked again Friday about his low score on the Wonderlic test, which Claiborne admitted after he was drafted that he blew off since it wasn't about football, he said he wasn't embarrassed. But he acknowledged that knowing the reaction now he might have been more serious about the test designed to gauge the intelligence, problem-solving ability and cognitive skills of prospects.
"If I knew it would've been this much heat about it," he said.
Claiborne led LSU with six interceptions last season and won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. He had 11 picks in 26 games the last two seasons. He was also LSU's top kickoff returner, averaging 25 yards per return including a 99-yard touchdown at West Virginia.
The Cowboys never really expected the chance to get Claiborne, even though they knew St. Louis seemed willing to deal that No. 6 overall pick.
"Obviously it was a unique opportunity and everything had to fall in place," said Stephen Jones, the team's director of player personnel. "He was the only guy in the draft we'd go up for, and then had to slide to sixth."
Jones said Claiborne was a unanimous pick by the Cowboys, "from coaches to scouts, he was the best defensive player, and a unique defensive player."