When the Dallas Cowboys drafted Byron Jones with their first-round pick in the 2015 draft, it seemed like they were getting an athletic defensive back with the ability to bring versatility to the secondary. Three years into the Jones experiment and it has been nothing but a bumpy ride.
Given his potential based off his rare athleticism, Jones is a guy that could possibly thrive if the Cowboys can find the right spot for him. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.
The Cowboys have moved him all around the secondary in his three NFL seasons. In his rookie year, Jones started out playing cornerback and acquitted himself rather well. Eventually the Cowboys turned him into a safety; he was moved to the position towards the end of the year and has played there since.
There are athletic traits possessed by Jones that many would agree should make an awesome safety for this defense. He’s just never been able to fully put it together and own a position for the Cowboys.
Entering the last year of his deal in 2018, the Cowboys may move Jones back to cornerback in hopes that the position will be his best fit. The approach would be to give him an entire offseason training program with new defensive backs coach Kris Richard, the coach who recently was working with defensive backs like Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas in Seattle.
If Jones were to move to cornerback, it may mean that Orlando Scandrick is the odd guy out. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis performed quite well in their rookie campaigns, and Xavier Woods, who is listed as a safety, spent a lot of time in the slot corner spot once he earned playing time. But, as has been noted repeatedly in the NFL, you can never have too many cornerbacks.
Another interesting thing about this is that it will open a spot in the safety rotation. The Cowboys may like a combination of Kavon Frazier and Jeff Heath. But Cowboys fans could also dream big like a trade for Earl Thomas, or even the team spending a first-round pick on consensus top safety Derwin James in the draft if he somehow fell on draft day.