"Mo has created a problematic situation for us," Jones said to the Dallas Morning News. "Mo didn’t create it, but his circumstances are problematic for us as we approach what we’re doing in the off-season at that position."
Claiborne suffered a torn patellar tendon in his left knee last September and the team is "hopeful" he will be ready for training camp.
Claiborne has played just 29 games of a possible 48 in his three-year career, totaling 88 tackles with three interceptions.
Saying he isn't optimistic, via the Dallas Morning News, Jones said, "We're hopeful" for Claiborne to return from his torn left patellar tendon. Claiborne suffered in the injury in the first month of the season in a win over the Saints.
In four games, Claiborne recorded seven tackles and one interception.
If the Cowboys don't exercise the option, then Claiborne will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2015 season. If they pick up the option, then Claiborne would receive the 2015 transition tag money for a cornerback, which is estimated to be about $11 million.
“It’s something that we still have to look at,” Jones said. “When we sit down and take a look at what we have to do underneath our salary cap that plays into it. So we have to look at his health. We have to really measure everything. We think a lot of Mo. We’re still believers that if Mo had a fully healthy offseason and a fully healthy season that he would play up to our expectations.”
Claiborne, who was a first-round pick in 2012, has been active for just 29 of a possible 50 games in his three NFL seasons. Claiborne appeared in just four games in 2014 before suffering a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee. He might not be ready for the start of training camp in July.
“That’s still to be determined,” Stephen Jones said. “We’ve got to see how he recovers, how his rehab goes, how his progress is. We’ll make those types of decisions accordingly.”
The Cowboys have a fifth-year option on Claiborne, who just finished his third season in Dallas, playing in only four games before tearing his patellar tendon. If his option is picked up, Claiborne would receive nearly $11 million in 2016.
He has only played in 21 of his possible 50 games as a pro in Dallas due to injuries.
Claiborne will be moved to the injured reserve list, finishing the year with just one interception and seven total tackles (five solo).
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