Last time the Cowboys faced the Saints, Dallas shocked the world and sparked a run towards an NFC East crown.
While it was a team win of course, the Cowboys defense is what really forced the league to reconsider where to put the Cowboys in their hierarchy. Not only did all 11 players on the defense play strong as a unit, individual players had to stand out to ensure the victory. In particular, cornerback Byron Jones put on one of the his performances of 2018.
During the 2018 season, New Orleans Saints All World wide receiver Michael Thomas averaged over 8 catches for more than 100 yards per game. He spent most of the season staking his claim as one of the best receivers in all of football, and was converting his targets to completions almost 85% of the time.
Against the Cowboys, however, Thomas was much less effective. Byron Jones and the Cowboys held Thomas to just 40 yards on 5 catches, and only allowed a reception on just over 60% of Thomas’ targets. Byron Jones specifically had a great day against Thomas, only allowing 1 catch for 3 yards.
Dallas was comfortable putting Jones on an island at times, even against the talented Thomas. And, as the numbers show, he did not disappoint.
Byron was an All Pro cornerback for a reason in 2018, and since returning week two against Washington, Jones has looked like his All Pro self once again. Though he struggled a bit during garbage time of that Redskins game, Jones was lockdown again during the Cowboys’ week three win. Now, he faces his biggest test of the year thus far, though it’s unlikely he will travel with Thomas to the other side of the field.
I have been the captain of the Byron Jones bandwagon since draft night in 2015, and I still very much believe in him during these big time match-ups. Athletically, he can go one on one with just about anyone in the NFL. Hell, he matches up favorably in terms of athleticism against most people in this world.
Thomas is a refined route runner who brings excellent measurables himself, and he is the number one outside receiving threat for what can be a dangerous passing attack. And, with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback, Thomas and running back Alvin Kamara will only be leaned on even heavier this week than usual.
Both Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie will need to be on their A-games this Sunday night if the Cowboys want to improve to 4-0.