Over the past few years the Cowboys have placed an increased value on position versatility. By drafting players like Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, and Xavier Woods the Cowboys have attempted to build a secondary full of players that can “do it all.”
The problem often becomes, however, that these players can form into “jack of all trades, master of none.”
It can be argued that this is the case with former first round pick Byron Jones. Jones played at both cornerback and safety during his rookie season, moving around the defense weekly due to injuries to his teammates. Over the next two seasons, the Cowboys fell in love with Jones’ ability to erase tight ends. This forced Jones to play in the box more often where his deficiencies as a tackler and run defender were exposed.
These issues, which were hidden when Jones was allowed to play traditional cornerback or even single high safety, have caused the fan base to sour on Byron Jones.
Luckily, Kris Richard is here to save the day and make things right again.
Richard told David Helman of DallasCowboys.com that he values Byron Jones as a cornerback, and thought he would be the prototypical addition to the famed Legion of Boom in Seattle coming out of college.
Kris Richard was also asked why taller CBs work so well in his defense, and was immediately asked if that’s why Byron Jones has switched to corner with Richard coming onto the Cowboys’ staff. #cowboyswire pic.twitter.com/q7fKvcbuP1
The main reason Richard likes Byron Jones as a cornerback so much are his measurables. Jones is a long, athletic player, and those attributes can be a pain for wide outs to deal with at the line of scrimmage.
“Fantastic athlete, great height, size, length and speed…I’m thrilled to be around him.” – Kris Richard on Byron Jones.
While these athletic attributes were Jones’ calling-card entering the league, his coverage skills are what really make him an impressive prospect at cornerback. Jones has become the tight end eraser for Dallas, sticking to some of the league’s best week-in and week-out.
Now moving to cornerback full time, Byron Jones will be able to master his trade on the outside without having to worry about “versatility.” A cornerback trio of Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, and Jourdan Lewis is an impressive young group.
One that could become the cornerstone to the next-great Cowboys defense.