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Dallas Cowboys Can’t Afford to Let Byron Jones Walk

Every every team has difficult decisions to make in its roster construction as it prepares for the following season. In 2020, the are no different. With , , and a whole host of players set to be , , , and the will have some difficult decisions to make.

One such decision that shouldn't be all that difficult, is whether or not to bring back Byron Jones. The argument against re- Jones focuses solely on the price tag and the lack of interceptions created by the former pick.

It's true, Byron Jones hasn't been able to get many interceptions for the Cowboys, first as a free and then as a , but that doesn't fully encapsulate everything he brings to the table as one of the better cover corners in the NFL.

Like for a , interceptions aren't the only way to measure a cornerback's ability.

Per Pro , only three cornerbacks allowed fewer yards per snap than Byron Jones at 0.64 yards per coverage snap; , Brian Poole, and DJ Hayden. Jones played more snaps than all three of those guys. Only three cornerbacks with more than 400 coverage snaps were targeted fewer times than Byron Jones in 2019.

Jones was tied with Richard Sherman for second in the NFL among players with at least 326 coverage snaps in snaps per target at 10.1. He was fourth in the league in snaps per reception at 17.9.

Though he didn't record an interception in 2019, everything points to Byron Jones being one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. His presence forces teams to look other directions and when they do throw his way, they don't find a ton of success.

Heading into the , with to start in March, Jones should be up there with Prescott and Cooper in terms of offseason priorities.

They don't have the talent or depth in the that could make a Jones departure more palatable. has some promise, but he's still unrealized potential because of the departed 's reluctance to play him because of his height.

has his moments, but has struggled playing the football in his own right. Though he's often in the right spot, he's allowed a lot of completions in his short tenure as a Cowboys starting corner.

is also a and has had a roller coaster of a career. It's unlikely the Cowboys will bring him back at the price he could demand on the open market.

The market value for Byron Jones this offseason looks to be around $14 or $15 million a year, which may sound like a lot of money for Jones' services, but what else are the Cowboys going to do?

If they choose not to re-sign Byron Jones, they'll take a step back in coverage in 2020. It's possible they could draft a cornerback with a premium pick who could replace Jones, but the coverage aspect would be suffer a drop off from Jones to a rookie or Jones to Jourdan Lewis.

I don't think the Cowboys would feel great about heading into the with Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie starting on the outside for this .

In the modern NFL, teams need players who can cover and though it took them a while to realize his best position, Byron Jones can cover. The price may be high when his contract is finalized, but given his ability and what would be left on the roster, the Cowboys can't afford to let him leave in free agency.

Jones may not be a splashy or flashy corner, but he's one of the best players on the defense. If the Cowboys want to take a step forward as a team in 2020, they need to re-sign Byron Jones.

John Williams
John Williams
Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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Having a great defensive line that makes the secondary make more turnovers is important too. This draft will help if they Trade down and get more players


Good thing they didn’t overpay anyone, you know, like a running back or something.


No interceptions, none as cornerback and not a willing tackler!!!!

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