ond-round gamble in 201

Morris Claiborne was in the middle of a walkthrough practice last summer when he got the call 鈥?finally 鈥?that he was eagerly anticipating.

It was time for his twin daughters to enter the world.

A New York Jets trainer had the cornerback's cellphone and was tasked with letting him know if and when Claiborne's now-wife Jennifer was heading to the hospital.

"I remember I saw the trainer walking on the field and he gave me Youth Taron Johnson Jersey , like, a look," Claiborne recalled in an interview with The Associated Press at the family's home. "I just ran. I took off running. I grabbed my phone from him and I went to Coach (Todd) Bowles and I was like, 'Coach, it's time,' and he was like, 'All right, congratulations.'

"And I remember just running out of the building and running to the hospital, and when I got up there I just looked at her."

It was July 30, 2017, and Jennifer was 35 weeks along 鈥?two weeks before her scheduled cesarean section. But her water broke while she was watching the couple's two English Bulldogs outside their home. She had to immediately head to Morristown Medical Center, about 2 1/2 miles away.

Meanwhile, Morris zipped from the Jets' training facility in Florham Park to the hospital just over 3 miles away in time to be there to welcome his daughters.

"He came and it all happened within the hour," Jennifer recalled. "It happened so fast, it was scary."

Doctors performed the C-section and first delivered Ma'Kaila, who was quite underweight at 3 pounds, 8 ounces.

Ma'Liah came a few moments later, weighing in at a more robust 4 pounds, 13 ounces.

Ma'Kaila was immediately taken to the neonatal intensive care unit, separated from her sister 鈥?and mother 鈥?for the first time.

"I was asking, 'Is everything OK?'" Morris said. "They were like, 'She's good. Everything's good. It's just that she's underweight 鈥?too underweight.' They wanted to take her back and start feeding her and try to get her to gain some weight."

Ma'Kaila stayed in the NICU for the next two weeks Rasheem Green Color Rush Jersey , working up the strength to be sent home to her parents and sister.


Jets' Morris Claiborne is a happy father after his newborn twins gave him a scare last summer.

Full story from @dwaz73: s://t.co/yul7hm1HrG pic.GGqXaXTqvG

鈥?AP NFL (@AP_NFL) June 17, 2018

For Morris, who was entering his first season with the Jets on a one-year, prove-it deal after four years with the Cowboys, it was a whirlwind of anxiety and excitement.

Somehow, he needed to keep his mind focused on football, while also wanting to make sure his wife and daughters had everything they needed while he was working.

"Oh, man," he said, shaking his head. "We'd have meetings early in the morning and we had to stay over at the (players') hotel, but Coach was giving me a little time to come here and stay with (Jennifer and Ma'Liah) instead of going to the hotel. I'd come (home) after meetings. We'd get done around 11 or so and I'd come here, check on her and make sure everything's OK with her and then I'd head up to the hotel for curfew and we'd FaceTime all night."

Claiborne's coaches and teammates never knew of the hectic routine he was keeping throughout the summer.

Playbooks and Pampers.

Meetings and feedings.

Football and baby blankets.

"I don't care if it was 10 minutes, I live so close to the facility that I was running home every single break to check on them and see if everything's OK and then I'd get back to my job," he said. "It was like that for a while, for the whole training camp. ... It was chaos, but it was fun."

Claiborne was in for the biggest surprise of all on Aug. 15 when he arrived home during a short break.

"I was like, 'Babe, come here, look,'" Jennifer called out to him. "I was like, 'Can you watch her real fast?' And I was speaking of Ma'Liah."

But she had brought Ma'Kaila home from the hospital earlier in the day and had both girls in the bed, laying them beside her with a video camera set on record to capture the moment.

"I wasn't expecting to see both of them at all Falcons Logan Paulsen Jersey ," a wide-eyed Claiborne recalled. "I wasn't ready for it at all. When I walked in, I was so used to seeing her (Ma'Liah) in the bed when I'd come in, and when I saw both of them laying there, my heart just dropped.

"I was like, 'Oh, my God.' It really hit me: We've got twins at the house. This is real now."

Ma'Liah and Ma'Kaila are now 10 1/2 months old, healthy and full of personality.

Ma'Liah, according to Jennifer, is the more demanding of the two, and "she's a Daddy's girl." Ma'Kaila is still slightly smaller than her sister, but is more independent 鈥?moving around on her own, playing and feeding herself.

"It gave me a sense of what I'm really playing football for, what I'm really doing it for," said the 28-year-old Claiborne, who re-signed with the Jets on another one-year deal in the offseason. "It's for my family and bringing these two precious little babies into the world, it opened my eyes to a much bigger picture.

"I've really learned that it's not about yourself. Once you have kids, it's about the kids, but I think I got a re-understanding of that once these two babies were born. I enjoy every moment of it."

The family was planning to fly to its home in Dallas over the weekend to join Claiborne's son Morris, who turns 9 in November, and daughter Madicyn, who's 3, for a special Father's Day.

"Having these girls made me understand that I really missed some valuable time with my son Armani Watts Jersey Elite , but I was off in college (at LSU) and there was nothing I could really do about that," Claiborne said. "My mindset was on making a way to feed him at that time. Just having them made me realize how much time at this age that I really missed that I would've loved to be there.

"I missed t With Dez Bryant gone, the Dallas Cowboys have to decide if they will use their top pick on a receiver for the first time since taking him eight years ago.

The answer on going that high to get another target for quarterback Dak Prescott, as it was before Bryant's release this month, is an emphatic "maybe." Dallas has the 19th pick in the first round Thursday night.

"I think we recognize that we've got a hole to fill with Dez," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Tuesday. "Those receivers we'll have rated first, second, third, fourth, fifth-round receivers, we'll have them rated with or without Dez at those levels."

Dallas decided that Bryant's dramatic decline in production in the three years since he signed a $70 million contract made him not worth the $12.5 million he would have been owed in 2018.

Early in the offseason, Jones also alluded to what he called the distraction of the drama that sometimes surrounded the emotional Bryant.

The Cowboys made a strong play for Sammy Watkins, who chose Kansas City in free agency. They added Allen Hurns, who showed potential as a top target in Jacksonville but never had the numbers to support that label. Dallas also signed journeyman Deonte Thompson.

Some of the top receivers in the draft visited the Cowboys, including Alabama's Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore of Maryland. Another intriguing prospect, Courtland Sutton, played a few miles from the home of the Cowboys at SMU.

Even without a few rookies, the receiver room will be crowded in the offseason and at training camp with the Cowboys trying to get back to the playoffs after missing last season coming off an NFC-best 13 wins in 2016, when Prescott was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Terrance Williams, the No. 2 receiver behind Bryant the past five years, returns, although he had offseason surgery for a broken right foot and isn't expected to be ready until camp. Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer http://www.patriotsauthorizedshop.co...layborn-jersey , both slot receivers, figure to have roster spots, with Switzer as the primary kick return man.

Noah Brown, a seventh-round pick last year, had an increasing role late in the season.

"When you lose a player the stature of Dez, obviously he was a No. 1 receiver, he was paid like he was a No. 1, and you don't replace that," executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones said on his radio show last week.

"Obviously we're not going to do it that way with the group that we have now. There's a lot of teams that go about it with numbers and with different skillsets."

Here are some things to consider with the Cowboys hosting the draft for the first time, and with the draft in a stadium for the first time:

OTHER NEEDS

Linebacker stands out because of Sean Lee's history with injuries and lingering uncertainty over Jaylon Smith's recovery from a devastating knee injury from college. The Cowboys also decided to let the steady and versatile Anthony Hitchens go in free agency, the second straight year they've turned a key defender loose. Last year, it was safety Barry Church, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Cowboys target that position first.

PICKS RUNDOWN

The Cowboys have 10 picks, with multiple selections in the fourth and sixth rounds. A trade would be more likely if they had multiple picks in an earlier round, but Jerry Jones has never been afraid to move up or down on draft night. Dallas moved up three spots to get Bryant at No. 24 in 2010.

HITS, MISSES AND BARGAINS

Dallas has one of the NFL's best offensive lines because of first-round choices Travis Frederick (2013) and Zack Martin (2014). Ezekiel Elliott was the NFL rushing leader as a rookie in 2016 after going fourth overall, the highest pick for the Cowboys in 25 years. Prescott is easily the biggest bargain as a fourth-rounder the same year Dallas got Elliott.

Defensive Randy Gregory didn't work as a second-round gamble in 2015 when he tested positive for marijuana at the combine. He was suspended all last season.

The Cowboys just picked up the fifth-year option on the rookie contract of defensive back Byron Jones, picked ahead of Gregory. Jones, who is moving back to cornerback from safety, has two years to try to live up to first-round billing after falling short so far.
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