Dallas Cowboys: 3 free agent replacements for Byron Jones

Logan Ryan, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Logan Ryan, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly committed to allowing Byron Jones in free agency. Here are three free agents who might be able to replace him.

The Dallas Cowboys appear to be preparing to move on from Pro Bowl cornerback Byron Jones. According to an article that appeared on NFL.com Friday night, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports that the Cowboys have met with the unrestricted free agent’s representation and the indication is the team is expected to let Jones hit the open market next month.

This news will not come as a shock for anyone following the Cowboys in the past few weeks as the team has clearly made it a priority to re-sign players like quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper. Combined with the fact Jones has only recorded two interceptions in his five-year NFL career plus the presence of cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis already on the roster, the writing has been on the wall for quite some time.

If the Cowboys do lose Jones to free agency, perhaps Dallas will turn to the open market to find someone to replace him. If so, here are some names we think make sense.

Eli Apple/P.J. Williams, CB

I’m including both Eli Apple and P.J. Williams here for one reason. Both played for the New Orleans Saints last season. And that’s where new Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Mike Nolan coached for the past three years. It figures that Nolan could look to add stability to the secondary with players he’s familiar with.

Neither Apple or Williams are ideal free agent candidates as both have struggled throughout their entire careers. But with Awuzie and Lewis already in Dallas, there’s little pressure to have to play a consistent role. The hope would be for a career-resurgence on a one-year, prove-it deal for one of them.

Logan Ryan, CB

The Cowboys defense needs to create turnovers. Why not then add a free agent who is coming off a career season?

Cornerback Logan Ryan posted a career-high 113 total tackles, 18 pass deflections, four forced fumbles, and four interceptions for the Tennessee Titans last season. In a playoff matchup against the New England Patriots, Ryan recorded a pick-six that sealed a 20-13 victory against his former team.

Ranked 49th on NFL.com’s Top 101 free agents of 2020 list, Ryan was highly-touted for his coach-like instincts, leadership, and intelligence. The Philadelphia Eagles are rumored to be interested in the 29-year old Ryan as a free agent. But instead of playing the veteran cornerback twice a year against a divisional rival, perhaps Dallas would prefer to upgrade their secondary by signing him instead.

Anthony Brown, CB

Set to hit free agency next month, the Cowboys could simply opt to re-sign their own in cornerback Anthony Brown. This would keep the trio of Awuzie, Lewis, and Brown together. A sixth-round selection in the now legendary 2016 draft class, the Day Three pick has started 23 games in his four-year career.

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Brown’s ability to play outside and in the slot has been invaluable. But his play has certainly been inconsistent at times. Coming off another meh year and a season-ending triceps injury, he should be relativity inexpensive to retain. Re-signing Brown and drafting a young prospect to groom behind him might be the Cowboys’ best plan for replacing Byron Jones.