It’s been over 1,000 days since the Dallas Cowboys drafted Byron Jones in 2015.
When Byron walked out on stage and held up that unique Cowboys jersey with gold lettering, people already began to wonder where the team would use his athletic prowess.
Would Byron Jones’ skill-set be best utilized at cornerback or safety in the NFL? While some would say it was a little irresponsible to draft him with the 27th overall pick despite not knowing this information, it’s an understandable plight to immediately find yourself in.
It was understandable then. It’s ridiculous now, over a thousand days later, when so much time has passed that the team has to decide whether or not to pick up Byron’s fifth-year option.
Stephen: no decision on if will pick up Byron Jones’ option. It could be that he plays best at corner instead of safety.— Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) February 27, 2018
Byron Jones has been serviceable for the Cowboys over the last three years, but that’s about the kindest word you can use. Some would use disappointing, but how much of that is Byron’s fault at this point? It’s been three years and his team doesn’t know where to play him.
It’s been said that perhaps Jones’ worst quality is in fact his versatility. It’s like at Thanksgiving dinner when you don’t know what to eat first because everything is so good. Sometimes you accidentally fill up too quickly on mashed potatoes or rolls (I love rolls), and you’re stomach no longer has room for turkey which is the main point of the meal.
There are those that believe picking up Byron’s fifth-year option makes sense because he could develop into something elite and having him at a lower cost is obviously beneficial. On the flip side, there are those that believe it’s irresponsible because we don’t even know what he is. Allow me to reiterate, it’s been three whole years.
Dallas has been heralded for their ability to hit on first-round picks in recent history. Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin were a solid 80% success rate in five years (shout out Morris Claiborne). Byron Jones has, to be fair here, broken that trend, but primarily because he’s been spread thinly between multiple positions and can’t concentrate on one.
It’s frustrating that after two years of full-time work at safety that the Cowboys have to now, especially entering his option year, wonder whether they’ve spent this time in vain with Byron. They did manage to overhaul their secondary seemingly overnight with Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis last draft, but they’ve impeded their own growth with their inability to decide on such an important decision regarding Byron.
Whether Byron Jones is a cornerback (the popular choice these days), safety, or anything else... it’s time to decide. It’s time to commit. It’s been time for long enough.