Former first round pick Byron Jones has faced his share of criticism throughout his young career. Last season, one of the more hotly contested debates centered around whether Jones should continue to play at safety or be moved to cornerback full time.
At his best, Jones is a sticky cover guy who can blanket opposing wide receivers and tight ends. He's never been known for his tackling or big-hit ability, but as a long and athletic defensive back he could be a CB1 in this league. Still, the Cowboys fell in love with using Jones as a Swiss-Army Knife player rather than giving him a true home.
And if the first few practices of training camp are any indication, this move was for the best; not only for Byron Jones and his personal career trajectory, but also for the construction of the Dallas Cowboys 2018 defense.
According to all reports, Byron Jones has been using his size, athleticism, speed, and smarts to compete against wide outs in all drills throughout training camp. He's been more than just competitive during one on one's, and has made numerous plays during team periods.
Byron Jones with the pass breakup in 1-on-1 drills: pic.twitter.com/13Scs7mZu8
— Brandon George (@DMN_George) July 29, 2018
Yesterday, Byron Jones made what might've been the play of the day. While going against wide receiver Lance Lenoir in a one on one drill, Jones put on a clinic on how to defend the double move. Sticking to the backside hip of Lenoir the entire way, Jones refused to get shaken off by Lenoir's stutter step.
Jones kept himself within striking distance of the ball the whole route, and used his excellent recovery speed and length to contest the pass and knock the ball away.
Plays like this one perfectly display the elite traits which Byron Jones possesses, and are a great example of why many believe he can be a very good corner. I have been beating the “Byron Jones is far from a bust” drum for a few years now, and while I do consider his first few seasons productive ones, I am expecting him to hit new highs in 2018.
And, as mentioned earlier, he is certainly off to a great start during camp.