Cowboys Activating Pro Bowler off PUP List [Report]

Byron Jones

Getty Byron Jones

The Dallas Cowboys‘ defense is getting healthy at the perfect time.

After activating starting defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford last week, the Cowboys are removing Pro Bowl cornerback Byron Jones from the Physically Unable to Perform List on Monday, ESPN’s Todd Archer reports.

Jones underwent hip surgery in March — originally billed as a cleanup procedure — and sat out offseason practices, training camp and the preseason.

“It’s weird because I’ve never gone into a football season without the whole preparatory phase – with the camps, the OTAs and stuff like that,” Jones said in June, via the Cowboys’ official website. “I’m missing most of that. That’s fine but it’s just one of those things that adds a new complexity to the chapter. It’s just another little piece of adversity that can make a pretty good story.”

Chosen in the first round (No. 27 overall) of the 2015 NFL draft, Jones enjoyed a breakout 2018, notching 67 tackles and 14 passes defensed after switching from safety to corner. He earned a trip to the Pro Bowl and was named a second-team All-Pro selection.

Jones finished last season as Pro Football Focus’ No. 3 CB among 123 qualifiers. He’s entering the final year of his rookie contract, set to make $6.266 million.

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Jones Expected to Go on Sept. 8

Although he’s behind the eight-ball with the regular-season opener now less than two weeks away, and he missed his training camp target date, Jones should be cleared for Dallas’ Week 1 home matchup against the rival New York Giants. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said in a radio interview last week he’s “very optimistic” the club is returning to full strength.

Apart from Jones, Dallas is also mending injuries to offensive linemen Zack Martin (back) and Tyron Smith (back), and wide receiver Amari Cooper (heel). Jones is confident these players will be in the starting lineup versus Big Blue.

New and Improved Jones?

Going under the knife is somewhat concerning for a defender who relies on hip fluidity. But Jones, in a contract year and his age-27 season, plans to continue ascending to the top of the NFL cornerback rankings while negotiating a long-term extension with the Cowboys.

“You always want to be better than the previous year. That’s always my goal,” he said, per the team website. “That’s really my philosophy in life – just be better than the day before. Just keep building on top of that.”

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