Dallas Cowboys: Byron Jones switching to cornerback?

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Free safety Byron Jones
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Free safety Byron Jones /

The Dallas Cowboys could be looking to change the position of one of their most important players. Should Byron Jones switch to cornerback?

The Dallas Cowboys are looking for a special starting defensive back, the problem is, they don’t which position they will need. Safety has been talked about all offseason and would be my choice for an upgrade.

Realistically the cornerback class in the 2018 NFL draft is so deep the Cowboys could come away with two legitimate starters in round three, four, and beyond. So why move Byron Jones? Well, there are several answers for that…

1. Contract:

Jones could become a free agent after the 2018 season and realistically the Cowboys need to know how good he really is. So far we have seen him as a cornerback, a free safety, and a strong safety, and so far he has been pretty good. He has covered the likes of New England Patriots tight end, Rob Gronkowski and has gone toe-to-toe with some of the fiercest playmakers.

He is one of the few reliable pieces to this secondary. A switch to cornerback for what could be potentially the final season in Dallas would allow the Cowboys to explore not only his ability at the position but the positional depth of the players around him.

Guys like Chidobe Awuzie and Kavon Frazier have been known to play safety at times (especially Frazier) but could they potentially start at the position?

Chido has been a terrific cornerback and has changed his number to 24 indicating that he is determined to be a playmaker but a new coach could see his strengths are elsewhere.

The Cowboys should have a ton of talent in the defensive backfield by the end of the 2018 draft, figuring out how to properly use these players is an important part of the equation. Jones was the first piece of the Cowboys rebuilt secondary and at the end of the day could be the most important depending on how this offseason plays out.

Fresh eyes:

Kris Richard is primarily responsible for creating the “Legion of Boom’ however he will have a different group in the Cowboys defensive backfield. He could be looking at several players and wondering if they are playing out of position.

Honestly, Jones did not look as effective playing from the strong safety spot because realistically that is not what he is. Having Jones as a center fielder (free safety) made sense, because he has good eyes and can make a play on the ball. Even though he only recorded one interception during his time as a free safety he recorded several pass defenses. 

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As a cornerback, Jones was a rookie and played seemingly up to his level, no interceptions but not a whole lot of terrible mistakes either. The first thing this secondary has to do is figure out where everyone belongs that is the only way they will become a productive unit.

3. Youth movement at the position: The Dallas Cowboys will likely have several more cornerbacks and safeties joining the roster after the draft. The team will likely look at both positions early on and a safety could be the first round selection when it is all said and done. It would be an obvious sign that the Cowboys are moving Jones if the team drafts a safety with their first-round pick. 

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The thought process likely being, an above average/elite defender moves to corner and a new star is born at safety. There should be a number of younger cornerbacks to provide some depth as the projected starters/the primary corners for this team would be Jones and Awuzie with Jourdan Lewis in the slot. While this may not be how things work out as the draft can be fickle expect plenty of defensive back talent to be added to this roster.