Dallas Cowboys: Not re-signing Byron Jones is the wrong move

Byron Jones #31 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Byron Jones #31 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Byron Jones is an elite cornerback , and if the Dallas Cowboys let Jones walk in free agency, it will be a major blow to an already disappointing defense.

The Dallas Cowboys were supposed to have a legit defense in 2019. After all, the Cowboys were coming off of a top-five defense from 2018 and the expectation was to continue their dominance.

And the Cowboys defense of 2018 wasn’t about any smoke and mirrors, either. The Cowboys defense was doing it the old fashion way on all three levels of its top-five defense: front four, linebackers, and secondary.

Leading the way on defense were “War Daddies”/edge rushers DeMarcus Lawrence (D-Law), Tyrone Crawford, and Randy Gregory, backed up by the dynamic duo of linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. The secondary was led by Byron Jones and supported with key players like Anthony Brown, Xavier Woods, Chidobe Awuzie, Jeff Heath, and Jourdan Lewis.

Personal Observation: That 2018 was the real deal and the best defense the Cowboys had fielded in nearly a decade. 

Fast forward to 2019, and the Cowboys defense was mediocre at best and was not the carbon copy of the defense from 2018. The only bright spot on the Cowboys defense last season was Byron Jones, and now the Dallas Cowboys are about to lose Jones in free agency- when they can easily afford him.

Quite frankly, not re-signing Jones is the wrong move and sends the wrong message to this team and their rising stars. Dallas needs Jones’s services as bad I need shaving cream and a razor to shave the stubbles off of my bald head.

Not only was Jones a top-2 corner in the NFL last season, but Jones was the best defensive player on the team. Never mind he recorded zero interceptions. Basically, Jones shut down opposing teams best receivers and although he lacked the interceptions, Jones covered them like a blanket, rarely got burned, and at least knocked the ball when possible.

If the corner’s main responsibility is to not allow the the wide receiver to catch the ball, and the corner does his job consistently of not allowing the receiver to catch the ball, does interceptions really matter? It’s good to have them, but guess what? The receiver still didn’t catch the ball, and now that offense is stagnant because its number one receiver can’t get open.

In 2019, only 53.1 percent of passes was completed against Jones, and that speaks volumes.  Staff writer Dan Ruppert wrote an article explaining the elite level of Jones as a corner.

Dan explains how Jones’ 53.1 completion percentage is among the best corners in league-the New England Patriots Stephon Gilmore had a 50.5 percent against him and Pittsburgh Steelers Joe Haden had 53.7 percent against him.

If Jones walks, Dallas’ secondary will sink below average because nobody can cover like Jones covered, The secondary is immune to interceptions expect for Jourdan Lewis, but Lewis is still learning how to cover.

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See, even though critics scream loudly that Jones lacked interceptions, please remember a lack of completions to opposing receivers is a highly coveted trait that every corner needs when he can’t get his hands on the ball for an interception. Besides, Jones is worth the $14 million+ asking price, and Jerry Jones can afford to pay Byron, Dak Prescott, and Amari Cooper.

Just think how good Dallas’ secondary would be if they all had the coverage skills like Jones.

Awuzie had pass completion after pass completion completed on him and Awuzie was right there whenever the receiver caught the ball. But if Awuzie had the coverage skills like Jones…then maybe Dallas doesn’t lose to the Philadelphia Eagles and their third string receivers and win the NFC East.

Who should the Dallas Cowboys keep: Amari Cooper or Byron Jones?. dark. Next

Once Jones leaves (and its highly likely he will), Dallas will be forced to find his replacement either in free agency or in the draft. There aren’t many good corners in the free agent market, so Dallas will probably find Jones’s replacement in the draft-which will need to happen early. If that’s the case, look for another teeth-grinding season of our secondary getting beat by practice squad receivers.

And that’s because Dallas made the wrong move and let their best defensive player walk.

The End

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  • Published on 03/05/2020 at 12:01 PM
  • Last updated at 03/05/2020 at 09:26 AM