Dallas Cowboys: Is Byron Jones moving back to corner in 2018?

Byron Jones, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Byron Jones, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

After another lackluster season at safety, are the Dallas Cowboys preparing to shift former first round pick Byron Jones back to corner in 2018?

It’s been three years since the Dallas Cowboys selected Connecticut defensive back Byron Jones with the 27th pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Jones shot up draft boards after breaking the World Record for a standing broad jump (12-feet, 3-inches) at the NFL Scouting Combine.

So, the Cowboys knew they were getting a world-class athlete. But after three seasons in Dallas, they also realized Jones has next to no football instinct. During his rookie year, the Cowboys coaching staff played the first rounder everywhere in the secondary. It wasn’t until his second season they choose to cement him at safety.

Jones has been at that position for two years now. And I can honestly say, I don’t believe he’s gotten much better. He’s certainly not a defensive playmaker, having racked up a measly two interceptions in three years. Jones is a willing tackler, but certainly not a thumper. And you would think his unmatched athleticism would make him better in coverage than he is.

Everything about Jones as a safety has been mediocre. And the Cowboys coaching staff recognized that last season, so they started swapping him out for former sixth round pick Kavon Frazier on every other series. While the second-year Frazier flashed his physicality on the field, Jones continued to disappear into the background.

At this point, I think it’s safe to say that safety simply isn’t Jones’ best position. Maybe it’s cornerback instead. And not your typical corner mind you. But one that specifically covers tight ends and larger receivers. That’s the one area Jones seems to excel. And at this point, as a former first rounder, you have to find a place for him somewhere.

With one-year left on his rookie deal, and the club option for another up in the air, Jones’ current career trajectory is not looking good. But could the addition of the man responsible for the Legion of Boom’s success in Seattle, new defensive backs coach Kris Richard, breath new life into this struggling player?

"“[Kris] Richard coached a secondary that included athletes with size and length outside so it would make sense that he would prefer those types,” responded Dane Brugler to a mailbag question via the Dallas Morning News. “Could that mean Byron Jones moving back outside to cornerback? That’s one option.”"

At 6-0, 205 pounds and possessing a 44-inch vertical leap, Byron Jones is a big bodied defensive back who checks all the right physical boxes. If coach Kris Richard can find a way to utilize his unique athletic ability, perhaps there is still hope for a player who seemed destined to achieve draft bust status.