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Can Kris Richard Finally Tap Into Byron Jones’ Potential?

The 2015 first-round draft pick is switching positions — again.

On Monday, Byron Jones introduced himself as a “corner” at an event to promote the Dallas Rattlers, a professional lacrosse team who will call the Ford home.

It's been rumored that Jones would make the switch from to since the hiring of , but now it's official. It's always good to get confirmation, especially at this time of year when teams and players are using smokescreens to try to disguise any strategy in regards to the draft.

I personally believe this is the right move for both Byron Jones and what's best for the Dallas Cowboys .

Byron Jones has spent the last two seasons playing safety. He showed promise in 2016 as rangy . But unfortunately, he seemed to regress a little in 2017 when he was asked to take over for as more of a box safety, eventually losing playing time to .

To me, this move has Kris Richard's fingerprints all over it. He prefers longer cornerbacks, something Byron Jones will give him on the outside. He had just that with the in , and now he has Byron Jones and .

There are high expectations for the Dallas Cowboys young secondary because of the hiring of Kris Richard. Maybe, just maybe, he is the coach that can finally tap into Jones' potential. Moving him to cornerback certainly seems like a step in the right direction.

Byron Jones
Dallas Cowboys CB Byron Jones (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

I don't know about you, but I love this decision. I've always believed Byron Jones' best position was cornerback and that the Dallas Cowboys were playing him at safety out of necessity. He wasn't completely terrible at safety, but I think he has a chance to excel at CB.

Now, I know the majority of you disagree with me. A lot of have already written off Byron Jones and proclaimed him as a bust. Fair or not, that's the way I hear him labeled by a lot of fans.

Personally, I believe it's unfair. I think the Cowboys have done him a disservice and never allowed him to settle into one position. As a rookie in 2015 he played cornerback, safety, and even some dime . Then in 2016 he was moved to free safety, only to move moved again in 2017 to .

I don't know about you, but I think I would have a hard time learning a new job that requires different footwork, technique, and even mentality year after year.

I'm not trying to make excuses for Byron Jones or anything, but I do believe the move to CB will finally give him a chance to show off his rare athleticism. In fact, I'm counting on it and I believe the Dallas Cowboys are as well.

The hard part about all of this is trying to determine exactly how the Dallas Cowboys feel about their versatile . They have to make a decision about whether or not they want to exercise Byron Jones' fifth-year option by early May. Unfortunately, this position change complicates matters a little more.

What do you think about Byron Jones' move to cornerback?

Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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Randy Martin

Byron Jones has a clean slate with me starting this season. I acknowledge that the coaching staff misused him and he should get a fresh start at cornerback. If he does a good job then we should pick up his option. If not we should learn to stop drafting players based on their athleticism only. There’s no way he should have gone in the first round based on his combine performance.

Brian Martin

Unfortunately, the Cowboys won’t get a chance to know what kind of CB Byron Jones can be before having to make a decision on picking up his fifth-year option. They have until May to make that decision. And, I was actually happy about the Cowboys drafting him in the first round in 2015. I thought he was the best player available, but always believed he was a CB, not a S. Hopefully he proves me right this season ha ha.

Nick Russo

I agree with your take 100%. He has shown even at times while playing safety the ability to cover and his rookie season showed promise during the time he played corner. I also think he is best suited to play corner and the idea of him Chido, and Jourdan Lewis is very excited.

Brian Martin

I think the Cowboys secondary has a chance to be really good this season. They might just end up being the strength of the entire defense.

Nick Russo

Agreed, and their youth (including anthony brown) means that it can be a very solid unit for years to come. I like what our D-line looks like and when we add another LB in the draft, I think that unit will be strong as well. My only concern is safety right now, though I’m optimistic about a woods/Frazier pairing back there. I think our defense has the potential to be in the top half of the league

Brian Martin

I think there are some safeties that should be available for the Cowboys in the second and third rounds who can come in and compete for the starting job. But, I’m also excited about Xavier Woods. Not really as excited about Frazier though.

Nick Russo

Yea I wouldn’t hate if we were able to get a deshon Elliott from Texas in 3-4. Fair enough on Frazier, I personally like him but think that we can still add another player.

Brian Martin

Don’t get me wrong, I like Frazier, but believe he’s more of a box safety and is limited in coverage.

EverybodyTalks

Frazier, to me, is a box safety and continues to improve in that area. He can lay some wood and is one of the first ones downfield on special teams. I think that is why we never went after Tyrann Mathieu. We do need a free safety. I’ve heard the kid out of Wake Forest mentioned as a possible free safety.

nick

I feel like he covered tight ends really well his rookie year, we all took notice when he did good on gronk. But the last couple of years it seems he had struggled often when covering some of them especially when jordan reed and was healthy. Zach ertz gave him fits too, along with others. I have my doubts about how he’s going to hold up against these Wr’s in the league. I hope Kris Richard can work his magic and make me a believer though. As young as chido and lewis are I’m really excited to see Richard work with them and develop them, I’m most excited about those 2 working with richard, especially after the solid rookie years they had.

Brian Martin

I think the reason Byron Jones struggled against some of the tight ends you mentioned is because he kind of got out physicaled at times. We should see a role reversal now that he’ll be covering WRs. And, I’m also excited about the development of the Cowboys young CBs.

nick

Ya that is true, they were much bigger than him, now he’ll be bigger and stronger than most of the WR’s. Come on Kris Richard work that magic. Just draft derwin James some how and pick up earl thomas after this season in FA and he’ll have his new LOB in dallas, what do you think Bryan, should I wake up from my dream haha ?

Brian Martin

I’m not holding out any hope of adding Earl Thomas or Derwin James, but I believe there are some safeties in rounds 2-4 who can come in and help. I also don’t like the idea of trading up. I’d much rather trade down and draft four players in the top 100 who can contribute right away.

Brian Martin
oneputter

jones can’t cover TE’s and we’re going to expect him to cover faster WR’s as a corner, he’ll need to play like 15 yds off the ball. as stated here by someone else, he played ok as a rookie covering TE’s but since then has failed to improve.

he can’t tackle, is afraid to hit, usually grabs at opponents, i just don’t see it in him and never have.

he is only going to take reps away from the younger guys, time to move on

Brian Martin
EverybodyTalks

I think they should give Byron his 5th year option. He is a good soldier. He did what they asked. Played nearly every game (I think he has missed 4 games). Byron was never given the opportunity to p[lay to his strengths. We have the Legion of Boom coach walk through the door and the first thing Kris says to Byron – “Your playing cornerback.” When I heard that story, I couldn’t have been more pleased. I think Byron playing against TEs is a plus. He won’t be bullied by any WRs. He handles the initial strikes when they attempt to push off. It’s like he absorbs it. I think Byron will find his home at CB.

Brian Martin
Brian Martin

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