Playing armchair GM is a exciting physical exercise for several Cowboys fans, but more than right here at BTB, it is not anything we take lightly. We dig deep anytime we choose to climb out on a limb and predict critical choices inside this organization. This offseason, we’ve discussed how franchise-tagging DeMarcus Lawrence a second time was just a formality and how a lengthy-term deal was coming. We’ve talked about how Cole Beasley wasn’t most likely to re-sign with the group. And we’ve even come to the challenging conclusion about how Sean Lee should really take a spend reduce. In truth, when it comes to predicting who’s staying and who’s going this offseason, we got it dialed in fairly very good this year.
But 1 issue we’ve attempted to prevent this offseason is generating a prediction about what to do with Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones. And rightfully so – this case is a really hard 1 to crack. There are two sides of the coin and they each hold a lot of worth. The Cowboys struggled with what do with him the initial 3 years of his profession, shuffling him about purely primarily based on group want. That is not to say he hasn’t been a strong fixture to the defense in that span, but it pales in comparison to what they got out him in his initial complete season at cornerback.
But it is time to take a position on Mr. Jones and the verdict is – he stays. Right here are 3 motives why the team’s new All-Pro cornerback is worth maintaining about.
Purpose #1 – He’s a extremely very good cornerback
Jones had a breakout season this year, but it is the only season all through his 4-year rookie deal exactly where he’s shined. Not only that, but he wasn’t as excellent down the stretch so how do we know he can do it once more? And additionally, Jones does not intercept the ball. He has only two profession interceptions and a grand total of zero in 2018. Even DeMarcus Lawrence had a lot more picks than Jones final season. The group didn’t trust Lawrence’s 1-year breakout, so how in the globe can you justify providing him a sizable second contract?
Initial off, the Cowboys cautiousness with Tank ended up costing them in the lengthy run. Positive, they can sleep greater at evening recognizing he’s the genuine deal, but it price the group multi-millions in the approach. With Lawrence, the group had a very good sufficient sample size to see that he was excellent, but injuries muddied up the waters. The group wanted to get this ideal so they waited till they could see clearly.
The Cowboys should really find out from this practical experience and not make the exact same error with Jones. His regression down the stretch was most likely impacted by a hip injury that essential surgery this offseason. And you cannot use his time at security against him since it is the teams fault for not recognizing how to totally using his strengths.
Jones is physical at the line of scrimmage and smothers the receivers all through their route. He has the athletic traits to mirror receivers and discipline to do it regularly. Jones embodies almost everything new defensive backs coach Kris Richard loves in a corner. In truth, all of Richard’s merry guys flat out smothered receivers, with Jones top the way with the highest percentage of tight window targets.
Not only does Jones suffocate his man, but when his opponent does get space, it is commonly not for lengthy. Jones has excellent closing burst to knock down passes, which is 1 of the motives Jones allowed the fourth lowest completion rate in the NFL. Positive, the interceptions are not there, but Jones does a excellent job defending the pass. Only Kyle Fuller had more pass break-ups than Jones final season.
Even though he didn’t take the ball away like you’d hope a best corner would, he basically did almost everything else that you’d want a cornerback to do, and he did it at a higher level.
Purpose #two – The draft just helped him out in a large way
The Cowboys did not use a premium draft resource on a cornerback. Miami’s Michael Jackson was added on Day three, but he’s not anticipated to be taking more than a beginning outdoors corner job anytime quickly.
What they applied a premium draft resource on was a defensive tackle and an offensive lineman. The addition of Trysten Hill and Connor McGovern signifies the Cowboys are most likely to have excellent replacements lined up should really they shed Maliek Collins and La’el Collins in totally free agency. Each Collins guys are reputable players at their respective positions and it would be excellent for the Cowboys to be capable to maintain them, on the other hand they have to be judicious when figuring out who gets an extension. Hill should really be the future at the three-tech position and it wouldn’t surprise if McGovern was beginning at left guard sooner versus later.
Even though the Cowboys are ready if Malik or La’el stroll, the exact same is not accurate at the cornerback position should really Jones leave. Anthony Brown is also a totally free agent right after the season. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis each hit totally free agency in 2021.
If the group is going to want to obtain a very good cornerback genuine quickly, wouldn’t it make sense to just maintain the 1 they got?
Dane Brugler place with each other his early guys to watch for in the 2020 NFL Draft and ended up mocking 5 cornerbacks in the initial round, ranging from picks 13 to 28. This could imply that the best player offered when the Cowboys choose subsequent year is a cornerback. Of course, we believed this year’s draft would line up completely for a security, and we all saw how that went down.
Jones has been the odd man out in terms of who may well not get a contract and that is since several of the other guys pointed out in that conversation have proved their worth. If Jones is also worth it, then he demands to be retained and the Cowboys shouldn’t be held back by the cap. The complete approach is to draft, create, and retain – and Jones fits completely into this group.
Purpose #three – Availability is capacity
Jones has played in all 64 games of his rookie profession. He is extremely resilient. We believed perhaps he would be lost for an substantial quantity of time when it appeared that his knee popped out of place but then he just nonchalantly place it back in spot. It was that moment we realized he was indestructible. Injuries are fluky factors and you in no way know when they will rear their ugly head, but Jones is 1 of these guys that is going to go about almost everything the ideal way to make certain he’s on the field.
And it is not just his very good overall health that is attractive. Jones is a consummate experienced who requires his job critical. He’s a leader on the field and a leader in the locker space. You know you are going to get a player that is going to be the finest version of himself and these are the varieties of investments you want to make.
The Cowboys may perhaps extremely nicely wait till subsequent season to make a selection with Jones, but that may well not be a wise move. Yet another season playing at a higher level signifies he’ll price even a lot more and possibly value himself out of Dallas. The front workplace may perhaps want to get ahead of this and supply Jones an extension now even though the chance of new revenue is a lot more attractive. If the Cowboys can get away with paying him a tier significantly less than what the best corners are demanding, then this could finish up getting a price-friendly investment, in particular if Jones builds on final season.