Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones places 97th on NFL Network’s Top 100 players, voted on by the players. This was Jones’ first time on the prestigious list. He’s a huge component of this team defense and will be a huge part of their success this season. It’s great he’s being recognized by fellow players for his ability when he doesn’t necessarily fill up the stat sheet on Sundays.
He came after Seattle Seahawks Tyler Locket at the 98th spot.
Byron Jones Impact to Cowboys Defense
Jones finished 2018 with his first Pro-Bowl selection and second-team All-Pro honor despite not recording an interception or touchdown. He’s the first Cowboys cornerback to be named to the Pro Bowl, since Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins in 2009.
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Without gaudy statistics, Jones lends tremendous value to this Cowboy’s defense that ranked among the top ten in scoring defense.
He had 67 tackles last season and a career high 14 passes defended. He added four tackles to that total in the NFC Wild Card playoff win versus the Seattle Seahawks. He followed up that performance with four more tackles in the NFC Divisional playoff game, where the LA Rams won 30-22.
Jones transitioned from safety to cornerback before the 2018 season, when secondary coach, Kris Richard took over. It looks like the scheme that brought Richard success in Seattle is making a tremendous impact to the Cowboys’ secondary after just one season. Richard received a lot of buzz when he was interviewed by the Miami Dolphins as a candidate for their vacant head coaching position. Richard has proven he could consistently mold players and should continue to do so with the Cowboys in the coming seasons.
What helps Jones’ case is his 25.4 forced incompletion percentage when being targeted, which ranks 2nd among cornerbacks, according to Pro Football Focus.
He played four years at the University of Connecticut and split two years each at safety and cornerback. He seems to have hit his stride, particularly at cornerback, and should remain there for seasons to come. With another year under Richard’s scheme, it’s safe to say that Byron Jones will be a stalwart in that Cowboys secondary.
Jones’ impact is much anticipated as he’s finally playing in his so-called natural position. He’ll look to build on that as the season approaches. Expect him to be back to his usual ways during week one and should be playing at his peak by the end of week two or three.
It will be a telling season for Jones. We could see him move up on the list next season as he’s highly important to the Cowboys’ success on defense this season.
NFL Network premieres a new episode each day for the next 10 days with 10 players at a time. Tomorrow’s episode will feature Top 100 players, 90-81 and starts at 9 p.m. ET.
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