Draft Pick CB/FS Byron Jones – How He Fits the Cowboys


Versatility is a blessing on a Rod Marinelli defense. What can we expect from new first round draft pick Byron Jones? Expect everything.

By now you’ve read countless scouting reports and profiles detailing the strengths and weaknesses of new Dallas Cowboy, Byron Jones. You’ve read he has experience at both safety as well as cornerback. You’ve learned his athleticism is other-worldly (proven through his record-breaking combine performance), and his potential is through the roof.

Most agree Jones is best as a press corner in coverage. He’s extremely physical, but fluid for a big guy. He’s a strong tackler who thrives in coverage. No wonder Rod Marinelli loves him. He has once-in-a-lifetime mix of size/skills/speed.

But the question we ask is where does he fit?

He fits everywhere and that’s exactly what he’ll be asked to do.

We should fully expect to see him at both CB and FS in training camp. He’s suited for both and the Cowboys have a need at both. CB is a mess, with Morris Claiborne perpetually injured and underachieving, Brandon Carr’s rollercoaster performance issues, and Orlando Scandrick’s discontent for his current contract, a new CB is needed.

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The safety spot has two solid players in Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox, but both of them are better suited for strong safety and there’s not a single coverage safety on the roster. The need at CB will likely stem from those aforementioned issues facing the top three Cowboys’ CBs. The need at safety will likely be situational at first – primarily when running the Single High Safety coverage (a coverage Marinelli loves).

The Cowboys will find a way to get him on the field and get him on the field often. He’s physical enough to matchup against big strong TEs and he’s athletic enough to keep up with the Odell Beckham’s of the world.

Coming from Connecticut, his level of competition wasn’t as strong as you’d like, and his position drills were said by some to be lacking technique. It’s probably best to set expectations accordingly and plan for a slow but steady development in camp, rather than instant superstar.

Much like how the Cowboys handled Zack Martin last season when they were open to using him at guard and at right tackle, the Cowboys will likely use Jones at cornerback as well as safety. Obviously with Martin, he dominated so much at guard, the right tackle idea flew out the window, but the same positional open-mindedness will be afforded Jones.

Asked whether he prefers the CB or the FS, Byron Jones said cornerback, but added, “It’s a close one”.

Both positions are a need and both are extremely valuable. It’s unlikely he’ll bounce around from position to position his entire career, but allowing him to help at both spots early will help the Cowboys plug holes AND find his best position in the process.

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