The Dallas Cowboys first round pick from 2015, defensive back Byron Jones, talks about his first season in the NFL.
With the 27th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and coming off an impressive 12-4 regular season, the Dallas Cowboys decided to address defensive secondary needs with their first round pick. Connecticut defensive back Byron Jones became the newest member of America’s Team with that selection.
And after an impressive first season, the rookie defender who set an unofficial world record with a 12 foot, three-inch broad jump during last year’s Scouting Combine, found out in his first season in Dallas that just being a excellent athlete is not enough to succeed in the NFL.
"“I think it was a good wake-up call for me,” Jones said during a radio interview on the Ben and Skin Show on 105.3 The Fan recently. “Just to be out there and understand that athleticism is not gonna carry you. You gotta be good at football. You gotta have football skill. The best thing about this year for me was I saw myself getting better and understanding more as the season went on. Definitely optimistic going forward, but a lot of things to be worked on to move forward in becoming a great football player, not just a good football player.”"
The fact Jones knows he has a lot to work to do and is far from being the football player he wants to be should be music to every Cowboy fan’s ears. In an era of self-promoting players that prefer to pat themselves on the back, it’s refreshing to hear a humble young man talk honestly about where he is as a player. And one that is willing to put in the required work to not only to be good…but to be great.
Jones was unquestionably the Cowboys best defensive back last season. He recorded 66 tackles and had eight passes defended. Pro Football Focus ranked Jones the 23rd best cover corner in the NFL last year.
The 23-year old Jones, who played at both corner and safety for the Cowboys during his rookie campaign, is expected to be cemented at free safety this season. That leaves a possible void at starting cornerback for Dallas, as Morris Claiborne is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and isn’t expected to be re-signed.
Although veteran corner Orlando Scandrick should return from a devastating knee injury that robbed him of the entire season last year, the bloated contract of starter Brandon Carr could force the Cowboys to cut the underperforming veteran and find a suitable replacement in free agency or via the draft to pair with Scandrick. If they can not, Dallas could be forced to use Jones, once again, at cornerback.
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