Dallas Cowboys CB Byron Jones has reached the last year of his rookie deal and is looking to sign an elite-level top-5 contract, so why isn’t anyone talking about re-signing him?
Usually when an elite player in the prime of his career enters a contract season, his impending extension is the talk of town. The Dallas Cowboys star cornerback, Byron Jones, is in this exact situation, yet, oddly, his next contract is barely discussed by fans and media.
Now Jaylon Smith hijacked recent contract talk with his team-friendly extension but it’s Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper who’ve dominated offseason discussions throughout Cowboys Nation. This begs the question, why is nobody discussing soon-to-be- free agent Byron Jones and his unknown future with the Dallas Cowboys?
The simple answer to this is that the Dallas Cowboys have bigger fish to fry. In other words, Dak, Zeke, and Coop all take priority right now. Many think, it was bad enough Dallas strayed from their main objective(s) to re-sign Jaylon Smith. They feel the Cowboys need to focus on the core of this offense because without the current “Triplets”, this team ain’t goin’ nowhere.
While it’s hard to argue with the basic prioritization of the above sentiment, it’s really a common fallacy many fall victim to. It’s called “a false dilemma” and it means we’re making a situation that’s not an either/or into an either/or.
Multitasking is part of management and it’s entirely expected a competent front office can volley multiple offers back and forth with multiple players without being overwhelmed or confused. To say Dallas must focus on the most important as justification for a less-than-full effort in the handling of other personnel decisions is completely underestimating the expectations of a professional front office.
Some may say the money available under the cap is finite and the Dallas Cowboys can’t afford to re-sign everybody. But anyone who’s been paying attention understands this is not a zero sum game.
The cap is manipulatable and as long as players perform well and stay healthy, teams can pretty much re-sign anyone. See also: The salary cap is a myth and Dallas can re-sign all of their stars
Byron Jones is replaceable
Here’s something I broached earlier this summer. For as good as Byron Jones is, the Dallas Cowboys are expected to have a steady churn at the cornerback position. In fact, Kris Richard has a track record of making CBs replaceable parts. Richard Sherman is his obvious exception but as the numbers indicate, Byron is far cry from Sherman so Byron probably isn’t the exception to Kris Richard’s rule.
Where Kris Richard really earns his money is developing traits CBs into reliable parts within his system. We looked this Spring at the types of CB Richard likes to employ in his CB ranks. He likes long and lean CBs who bully outside receivers and keep windows small. Traditional (i.e. expensive) skills aren’t necessary in his system.
With Chidobe Awuzie about to breakout as a possible CB1, and Jourdan Lewis, Michael Jackson, and Donovan Olumba waiting in the wings, the Dallas Cowboys are well positioned to replace the 2020 free agent CBs, Byron Jones and/or Anthony Brown. Maybe this is just the plan.
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Injury and the unknown
Maybe the answer is the Dallas Cowboys are waiting to see what Byron Jones looks like when he plays real football again. He was just activated from the PUP and frankly he only has one good season as an NFL CB (and even that season he regressed towards the end). Or maybe the Dallas Cowboys are negotiating with Byron Jones and his camp after all.
And it’s us fans and media who’re preoccupied with the headline players that we just aren’t noticing or pressing the Byron Jones issue enough.
The reality is Byron Jones is probably playing his last season with the Dallas Cowboys and the reason for that is a little bit of all the aforementioned reasons. But it’s worth noting because most summers we’d kill to have an elite talent like Byron Jones to discuss. And most summers the Cowboys wouldn’t hesitate to lock him up long-term. Perhaps it’s their current embarrassment of riches that’s glossing over Byron’s tenuous status. Or perhaps they just don’t want to spend big on the CB position.
Unless making the CB position a replaceable part is the focus of this defense, there aren’t a ton of reasons as to why Byron Jones isn’t being discussed more as player the Dallas Cowboys must re-sign. Teams are going to compete to pay him as a top-3 CB next offseason.
- Published on 08/30/2019 at 11:01 AM
- Last updated at 08/30/2019 at 06:39 AM