Andy Jackson received the largest signing bonus of all the undrafted rookies signed by the Dallas Cowboys for 2016, and the talented pass catcher is showing the world exactly why the team was interested in acquiring his services. His name has been popping up regularly throughout the offseason. Strong performances in OTAs and minicamp were a prelude to the work that #81 has delivered in Oxnard.
On the physical side, Jones simply looks like a Dallas wide receiver. He has the size that the team likes, he is 6' 1" and a shade over 220 pounds of solid muscle. Not only does he look the physical part, he delivers on the promise. The kid is not afraid to mix it up on the gridiron. He may not have all the skills of a Dez Bryant, but he does draw some parallels to the Cowboys top receiver with the way he plays the game.
The biggest challenge for Jones is that he needs to polish up the rough edges to bring his game to the NFL level. Coming from a school like Jacksonville, he has not experienced the benefits that receivers from bigger schools get in the way of coaching but the Dallas coaching staff is working to remedy the problem. Andy Jones has come a long way in a very short time during his tenure with the Cowboys. He is taking their instruction and putting it to good use in practice. Jones is a far better player now than he was when he first joined the squad.
Jones cannot afford to rest on what he has done so far. He has caught the eye of the people who will make the final determination of who will make the 53-man roster, but he is still far from having a job when the team returns to the Star to start the season. Being the next man up thanks to Devin Street's back issues has given him a chance, but he will have to hold off the former fifth-round selection and other challengers over the second half of camp. It will not be easy, but he is off to a good start toward making the club.
"He's one of those that you look at in a uniform and go, ‘Wow,' that's pretty good. Then he goes and plays and it's still really good. He's certainly making a big effort here and I think he has a real chance to compete for a spot on this team." - Stephen Jones
His biggest task now is to keep showing up on film. Catching a touchdown pass from Jameill Showers during this weekend's scrimmage game will help with that. His performance should earn more opportunities as the Cowboys get their first chance to pound on someone wearing a different jersey this week when they face the Los Angeles Rams. Turning in a similar effort to what he did in the scrimmage will set the rookie wide out on a path that could have him playing football for a living on Sunday afternoons.
Hopefully that will be in Dallas, but even if he does not make the final cut, this kid will most likely catch on somewhere this fall.