As a former first round selection, safety Byron Jones has had a pretty easy ride. Most top draft picks are expected to perform like Pro Bowlers right out of the gate. But everyone says we should love the play of safety Byron Jones. So he’s gotten a pass.
Again, this offseason, media members rave about Jones’ play during training camp. Telling us what a terrific camp the young man has had. Yet, outside of a couple flashy plays here and there, Jones’ greatness apparently disappears during actual games.
Always an athletic freak, I’ve certainly seen an improvement in Jones’ tackling. And the Cowboys need that now more than ever since hard-hitting safety Barry Church has been lost to free agency.
But let me ask you this: In his two seasons in Dallas, what is Byron Jones’ most memorable play? Flashes of his 19 pass defends may come to the forefront of your mind, particularly against tight ends like New England’s Rob Gronkowski. Or maybe you see Jones allowing Green Bay Packers’ tight end Jared Cook to catch the pass that lead to the Cowboys loss in the playoffs last season.
I bet you don’t think about an interception as Byron Jones’ most memorable play. Why? Because he’s only had one in two years. And that lonely pick was in the back of the end zone during a Hail Mary attempt before halftime against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season.
For all the athletic ability Byron Jones brings to the table, he brings next-to-no playmaking ability. And until that changes, the luster will continue to fade on this former first rounder.