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Did a Cowboys Executive Just Take a Shot at Free Agent CB Byron Jones?

One of the biggest names for the Dallas Cowboys this offseason is Byron Jones. The team’s top cornerback is set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2020, and yesterday one of Dallas’ top front office men took what could be seen as a critical shot at Jones’ value to the Cowboys.

Will McClay is officially titled as the Vice President of Player Personnel. But from the perspective of many, he is the unofficial general manager of the Dallas Cowboys in tandem with Stephen Jones. So when McClay has something to say about a player, it’s definitely newsworthy.

Here is what McClay said about Byron Jones:

Jon Machota on Twitter

Will McClay on Cowboys No. 1 CB Byron Jones, who is an unrestricted free agent: “He’s a starting caliber NFL corner. He’s a really good player. We have to figure out his financial value and if it fits for us.

Interpretation can be dangerous, but that sure sounds like an attempt to downplay Byron’s value to the Cowboys and where he stands among NFL corners.

Jones made his first and only Pro Bowl in 2018 after converting from safety to cornerback. The former 2015 first-round pick entered the NFL in a dual role and then played safety full time in 2016 and 2017.

Byron played last year under the 5th-year option from his rookie contract. Now the Cowboys will likely either have to sign him to a long-term deal or use either the franchise or transition tag to keep him.

Maybe I’m reading too much into what Will McClay said, but terms like “starting caliber” and “really good” aren’t the most glowing language about a player. There certainly wasn’t any firm commitment in that statement about keeping Byron Jones with the Cowboys, but rather a hedging comment that they are still deciding if he’s a good fit.

Of course, this may just be a way of negotiating through the media. It happens all the time in sports.

McClay and the Cowboys may have every intention of keeping Byron Jones and are just playing the game right now. But if there’s any face value to those comments, then perhaps it’s an indication that Jones’ tenure in Dallas is about to end.

What do you think?

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Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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  1. If we dont keep byron jones we need to draft 2 corners in the draft. here is my draft 17

    Javon Kinlaw

    , IDL
    South Carolina

    51

    Antoine Winfield Jr.

    , S
    Minnesota

    82

    Noah Igbinoghene

    , CB
    Auburn

    113

    Nick Coe

    , EDGE
    Auburn

    146

    Colby Parkinson

    , TE
    Stanford

    208

    Lavert Hill

    , CB
    Michi

  2. I think you’re reading too much into this. He’s not taking a shot, he’s being truthful. They have to see what his asking price is and determine if they want to pay that amount to keep him. That’s the same approach taken by all teams.

  3. Ive seen every snap played of his since being drafted an other than a Great athlete jumpman hasn’t showed us the “big play” in over 4 years.. Comments are spot on Will. I think hes done about the same for us as Morris Claiborne did when here. He gets beat to the outside every game so clearly his football instincts aren’t what we all thought we’d see from him since his “combine was so good” woohoo. I love the Dallas Cowboys as much as anyone but he is not a Lockdown corner by any stretch

  4. How is that a shot? It’s an honest business related statement and is true of every single player whose contract is up. It’s the exact reason Indakurracy was not signed. Why? Because mgmt felt he was not worth what he was asking for. For Christ’s sake. Writers will say anything controversial to get reads regardless of whether it makes sense. Hack.

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