In a stunning trade back, the Dallas Cowboys trade the tenth overall pick to the Miami Dolphins for the 18th overall selection yet also receive a familiar face in cornerback Byron Jones. This scenario allows the Dallas Cowboys to correct the mistake of letting Jones walk in the first place.
Dallas balked at the contract demands of cornerback Byron Jones while he was still under contract but could now catch a break by allowing the Dolphins to rent him for a year and get him at a cheaper rate than originally planned.
Jones was ranked as one of the most disappointing big-name free agents by football outsiders so buyers remorse could be setting in for Miami. Their displeasure turns into euphoria as they are able to get up to the tenth spot and they get to unload a player that doesn’t seem to fit.
Byron Jones back in Dallas essentially gives the team a greater chance at upgrading their defense. The presumptive tenth pick, Patrick Surtain, is very similar to Byron Jones. Landing Jones and pairing him with Diggs gives the team a very good cornerback duo but it also allows the team to take a defensive player they might have been debating with at the 23rd spot.
Players like Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons or Alabama’s Christian Barmore fill a need without giving up draft value. The team could also catch a falling Caleb Farley from Virginia Tech which would give the team a variety of options at the cornerback spot.
Miami trading Jones to Dallas would create $8.4 million in dead money for them but would also free up around $7.7 million in cap space putting it in the doable category. For reference, the Philadelphia Eagles are carrying $33.8 million in dead money for quarterback Carson Wentz.
Jones signed a five-year $82.5 million dollar deal but the Dolphins paid out $26 million in his first year meaning Jones has an average salary that hovers around the $14 million mark for the remaining four years.
Jones only had $20 million guaranteed remaining entering the 2021 offseason meaning the Cowboys could potentially get out from under his contract after the 2022 season if needed. Far fetched yes but something my younger self would definitely be thinking about.