If Kris Richard determines Byron Jones has what it takes to be the next Richard Sherman the Dallas Cowboys will have no choice but to re-sign him
Cornerback Byron Jones had a breakout season with the Dallas Cowboys last season. After playing primarily free safety his first three years in the league, Jones made the transition fulltime to cornerback when Coach Kris Richard came on board. And everyone was rewarded.
Jones ranked as one of the NFL’s top corners most of the season, finally giving Dallas the shut-down CB they’ve been searching for. As Jones enters the last season on his rookie deal, it’s up to the Dallas Cowboys to decide whether or not he’s Kris Richard’s next Richard Sherman. If he is, a new multi-year contract should be on the horizon…
The Richard Sherman Connection
Clearly I didn’t just pull a name out of a hat and select Richard Sherman on a whim. Sherman is the comparison player because of the system in which he played and the coach he played under. Both Sherman and Coach Richard earned their reputations in Seattle’s Legion of Boom.
The Legion wasn’t just good but it was arguably the best defense in the past decade. When the time came to rebuild in Seattle, both Richard and Sherman were sent packing. As we all know, Coach Richard landed in Dallas and he brought his Seattle defense with him.
One of the key parts in that defense is a shutdown cornerback capable of eliminating an entire side of the field. This allows the single high safety the opportunity to cheat in certain areas without fear something bad will happen as a result.
Is Byron Comparable to Sherman?
Byron Jones is the type of long press corner Kris Richard loves, He may only be 6’1” (compared to Sherman’s 6’3”) but he’s every bit as long. Arm length is the key trait Richard looks for and both players possess arms over 32” long.
But that’s where the similarities end, sadly. From Day 1 Sherman showed an uncanny knack for the ball. In a system that asks it’s cornerbacks to often shadow receivers as they bolt down the sideline, Sherman showed the awareness and instincts to look back and play the ball rather than just chase the rabbit.
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It’s these ball skills that separated Sherman from the others and it’s the ensuing big plays he provided that made him a cornerstone piece in the Legion of Boom.
In Richard Sherman’s seven seasons in Seattle, he collected 32 interceptions, good for an average of 4.6 per season. In Jones’ four seasons in Dallas, he’s only managed a whopping two interceptions, and neither of them where achieved in true “hawking” fashion.
In all fairness, Jones has only played one season as a fulltime CB. But even then he only managed one INT. Sherman never had less than two INTs in a season in Seattle and he even had a pair of EIGHT INT seasons in 2012 and 2013.
Sherman was always a ballhawk. Jones never has been.
It’s clear Byron Jones is not the next Richard Sherman, but will that prevent the Dallas Cowboys from re-signing him? That’s a topic for another day.
- Published on 07/05/2019 at 12:45 PM
- Last updated at 07/05/2019 at 12:24 PM