The Dallas Cowboys will apparently allow Byron Jones to test the free agency waters. And based on his price tag and lack of takeaways, it’s an easy one.
The Dallas Cowboys offseason news have mainly surrounded three players who are about to hit free agency. Those starters being quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper, and cornerback Byron Jones.
Despite having an estimated salary cap space of $77 million according to OverTheCap.com, the Cowboys aren’t expected to keep all three of these Pro Bowlers. And the odd man out appears to be Jones.
According to Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys and representatives for Jones have come to an underlying understanding that the fifth-year defender will hit the open market on March 18th per an unnamed source, with the legal tampering period starting two days before.
So why is Dallas so seemingly willing to possibly lose Jones to another team? The answer is likely price tag and takeaways. And more specifically, a lack of interceptions. Despite being considered one of the top cover corners in the NFL, Jones has recorded a mere two interceptions in his five-year career.
Cowboys’ legendary safety Darren Woodson talked about the difficulty of re-signing Byron Jones in Dallas during a radio interview with 105.3 The Fan on Wednesday.
"” … if it’s $15 to $16 million, then you want that guy to turn over the ball. He’s gotta make plays on the football. And, if you’re going to actually make that commitment to Byron, and again, you’re not going to have a problem with Byron Jones, he’s always going to be available. But can he turn the ball over? The last four years we haven’t seen him make plays on the ball.”"
Outside of the expected increased price tag for Byron Jones and his lack of takeaways, the Cowboys’ new coaching staff could certainly hinder a potential return to Dallas as well. New defensive coordinator Mike Nolan went on the record recently saying that creating more turnovers starts with the player. That could indicate the new regime in Dallas is ready to move on from Jones, much less make him one of the highest paid cornerbacks in the league.
The Dallas Cowboys should be in the business of retaining their best players. And Byron Jones is certainly one of the team’s top stars. Yet, the cost of keeping him and his lack of turnovers likely makes the decision to allow him to test free agency later this month an easy one.