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CB Byron Jones Predicted As One Of The “Worst Contracts Of Free Agency”

is an enigma.

Very rarely is a player so undeniably good, while also receiving substantial criticism for the areas in which he struggles. No one will tell you that Byron is “trash,” but it's tough to find those who tell you he's elite either.

Despite what his on-field play and natural athleticism strongly suggest.

Jones is now entering unrestricted for the first time in his career, and it's sounding more and more like we'll be referring to him as a “former Cowboys ” in just a few weeks. Dallas has all but publicly renounced his rights, and all the smoke around their contract discussions around and .

So now we must ask, is letting Byron Jones walk a good move?

Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report thinks so. Brad predicted 8 of the “worst contracts” to come in , with cornerback Byron Jones making the list.

“Plenty of teams have already been linked to the suddenly popular cornerback, with Spotrac projecting his market value at $14.1 million annually. Does that make sense for a player who ranked 17th among qualified corners at PFF in 2019, has made the just once and has just two career interceptions in five seasons?”

Let's be clear: Byron Jones' lack of interceptions does not factor heavily into my evaluation of him or his contract.

The Cowboys have clearly been coached to play the receiver's hands, rather than getting their heads around early in routes and contesting the ball for interceptions. They've also been told to avoid giving up the big play above all else – otherwise known as “bend, don't break.”

When you apply these points in practice, you see less turnovers. You also allow less big plays, but interceptions really aren't going to come with any type of frequency.

Jones himself is a freakish cornerback. His length, athleticism, and speed give him all the tools to be a lock down man coverage corner, as well as a rangy defender in zone. And, with the Cowboys, he's done just that.

Jones became the eraser while at , but caught flack from fans due to his lack of physicality in the box. Then he moved out to cornerback full time and immediately had an All Pro season in 2018.

Byron Jones is a stud. That's it. That's the evaluation. He is going to get paid this , and the number may shock some people. But letting your top cornerback and one of the top 3 defensive players on your roster walk is never the ideal move.

It may work out. Maybe they can improve in the margins at cornerback through the draft. Maybe and both take steps forward, it's certainly possible.

But Byron Jones has earned this deal he's going to get. And it's a shame it has to come somewhere other than Dallas.

Kevin Brady
Kevin Brady
Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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