Entering his third year as the Dallas Cowboys' first-round pick of 2015, FS Byron Jones has embraced suddenly finding himself as a “veteran” in a new-look, young secondary that will be looking to completely change how pass defense has been played in Dallas recently.
This passing defense has only improved as Jones has grown himself from a versatile rookie to full-time safety in 2016. Now, firmly slotted into the starting free safety spot with the departure of Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox at the position in free agency, Byron is looking to take a much-anticipated next step with his game.
Working with the nearby Frisco RoughRiders, the AA ball affiliate of the Texas Rangers, Jones found a unique way to work on his hands while showing off his athleticism on Thursday night.
Thanks @Byron31Jump for joining us during BP! He covered LF and CF like it was no biggie. Go @dallascowboys! #LetsRide pic.twitter.com/MewNQzkNfi
Although he's defended 18 passes in his two seasons with the Cowboys, Byron Jones has only created one turnover on a jump ball interception this season at home against the Buccaneers. The UCONN product has been a fan favorite for Cowboys Nation since day one, drafted for his freakish athleticism and Combine performance – showing off this athleticism with a welcome injection of talent to Dallas' secondary in 2015, consistently getting his hands on the ball but failing to finish turnovers.
.@dallascowboys DB Byron Jones is w/ @RidersBaseball doing baseball-related drills to try and improve hands. With team in OF during BP.
Jones has put some pressure on himself to help get the ball back to the Cowboys' potent offense himself this season, something Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli certainly preaches, so working on this element of his game prior to training camp by shagging some fly balls is a fun way to alleviate pressure and still develop important skills.
Byron Jones is going to have a phenomenal 2017 season, this much is assumed following a great rookie campaign and improved 2016 season as a starting safety. Now preparing to work behind a whole new cast of cornerbacks along with a new rotation of safeties alongside him, #31 needs to stand out in the Cowboys' secondary this season each and every week – something he is taking the initiative to do even at the ballpark in Texas before hitting the fields of Oxnard.