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Is Byron Jones the Dallas Cowboys Emergency Safety?

Brian Martin

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Byron Jones

The Dallas Cowboys are currently thin on the backend of their defense, better known as the safety position. They may not admit to it, but we all know it and they know it as well. But, even though they don't have the depth many of us would prefer, things might not be as bleak as it looks from the outside looking in.

If the season were to start today, we would probably see Jeff Heath reprise his starting role and either Xavier Woods or Kavon Frazier lining up next to him. I don't know if that would be considered an upgrade from last season or a downgrade. There is just too much unknown right now.

Personally, the Cowboys current safety depth is the most concerning position on the roster right now for me. What if something were to happen to one of those three safeties (Heath, Woods, Frazier)? That would deplete the already thin depth even more and severely handicap the entire defense.

You concerned yet?

The Cowboys speak highly of the current safeties, but that could be just smoke and mirrors. Of course, they could be willing to roll the dice because they know they have someone who can fill in in an emergency situation if needed.

Byron Jones, Xavier Woods

Dallas Cowboys DBs Byron Jones and Xavier Woods (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Yes, I'm talking about Byron Jones. The same player many Cowboys fans have wanted to completely wash their hands of. He may not be the player he was hyped up to be as a first-round draft pick in 2015, but he does have starting experience at safety and didn't perform too poorly during his time there. In fact, I thought he played pretty well.

It's old news now, but when Kris Richard was hired, the first decision he made was to move Byron Jones back to cornerback. Richard likes the taller/longer limbed CBs in his secondary, and Jones fits the bill to a T. But, that doesn't necessarily mean Jones won't be utilized in other areas of the secondary in 2018.

The Dallas Cowboys are fortunate enough to have some really good young cornerbacks on their roster. Chidobe Awuzie looks like a star in the making and could be a favorite to earn his first Pro Bowl bid this season. Jourdan Lewis didn't look out of place last year either and is more than capable of starting on the outside in the NFL. And, let's not forget about Anthony Brown, who has started for the Cowboys as well.

I believe it's the Cowboys depth at the CB position which could make them feel more comfortable about rolling the dice with how thin they are at the safety position. Byron Jones' versatility to play several positions in the secondary could come in real handy this season.

Luckily for the Cowboys, Byron Jones is still under contract for at least a few more seasons while they figure all of this out. Without him, I think they could be in real trouble if an unfortunate injury were to occur.

Do you think Byron Jones is the Dallas Cowboys emergency safety?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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11 Comments
  • Ethan Chazin

    so so SO sick of this tired meme @ the insufficient Safety situation. Yes, Xavier Woods and Kavon Frasier are relatively unproven but at some point you roll with youth and athleticism. You think any retread Kenny Vacarro FA safety is better? No, we have these guys, Heath who is a competent box SS and…Byron Jones? Okay. I realize TE, WR and Safety are relatively unproven but this team turned over most of its roster in the past 3-4 years while remaining competitive. I love the increase in talent making our roster one of the youngest while adding depth and breadth from a competition standpoint. Gone are the days when players who make our roster couldn’t start for many other teams, so that now guys that might note make our 53-man will catch on and play for other teams. We will be fine at safety. You watch…with our D line, LB unit and CBs, this will be a solid top 10 D.

    • Brian Martin

      My only problem with the safety position is the depth. If someone were to get hurt, I think it would severely handicap the entire defense. I was just merely trying to point out that things might not look as bleak as a lot of people would like to believe because the Cowboy still have Byron Jones, who played better at safety than a lot of fans would like to believe.

    • Sexcdex Xfact

      Yes, granted healthy D line & improved LB play all should go well
      But the NFL rarely excuses any one team of injury
      However
      The article is about (key word) an EMERGENCY backup player not if all goes well

  • Nick Russo

    I think that Byron jones is a good safety option (no pun intended) should heath, Woods or Frazier get hurt. As you mentioned, we have enough depth at CB that it wouldn’t hurt us so much. I agree that Byron did play well at his time as a safety but I have always thought he was better suited as a CB watching him his rookie year. While I worry about depth, I believe that woods and a combo of Frazier/heath might be good enough given the defense in front of them. I’ve read good things about Kam Kelly being a possible depth safety and even wonder if a guy like a Marquez white, who is big and has some talent, might be able to line up at safety in a pinch.

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for commenting Nick. Marquez White is intriguing, but I think he’s probably going to stay at CB for now. I think that’s his best chance to make the team. Kam Kelly from what I’m hearing has been playing mostly CB as well, but his long-term future may be at safety.

      • Nick Russo

        Yea I agree, I know White fits coach Richards mold for long corner, but I can’t imagine him seeing the field with chido, Byron, jourdan, and Anthony brown in front of him. For the first time in a long time it’s nice to see a defense so young and potentially so talented. Amazing they were able to rebuild it with so much youth and talent so quickly.

        • Sexcdex Xfact

          Exact sentiments I’ve shared in posts prior to this article

      • Sexcdex Xfact

        Again
        I agree

    • Sexcdex Xfact

      I agree also

  • Sexcdex Xfact

    I was going to repeat comments I’ve posted prior to this that would echo those posted here
    I agree they know they can fall back to Byron Jones at safety
    Chido & Wii’s also played a considerable amount at safety in college
    Kam Kelly & the seemingly forgotten Marquez White also may be on the horizon especially with Coach Kris Richards in the mix
    Heck, it really don’t feel like a crap shoot at all due to all this potential
    Roll with it Big D

  • Ddenney1

    Early Jones showed a lot of promise but fell off in the last 2 years! I think a REAL pass rusher solves a lot of ills but this team seems about offense! I miss the DOOMSDAY defense of the past. if they draft well on the D it will solve most problems for the Cowboys. I am still not sure if Garret can handle clock management which is surprising for a coaches son and former QB!!!! Garret doesn’t seem capable of half time adjustments!!!!!!!!

Star Blog

Taco Tuesday: Cowboys DE Taco Charlton Starting to Dominate?

Brian Martin

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Taco Tuesday: DE Taco Charlton Starting to Dominate?
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

There has been quite a bit of talk about what a bad decision it was for the Dallas Cowboys to draft Taco Charlton with their first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Nearly everybody wanted someone different, not a player that needed time to develop.

Well, fast forward a year later and it looks as if the Cowboys made the right decision.

Don't look now, but Defensive End Taco Charlton is starting to live up to that first-round pedigree. In the first two weeks of the 2018 season, Charlton has already looked like a much improved player from what we saw a season ago. Imagine that, a little bit of time to develop and he's turning into a solid player.

I know I may be getting a little bit ahead of myself, especially suggesting that he is starting to dominate, but I can't help myself. I'm that excited about how much he has improved in one offseason. I may be alone here, but I have high hopes he could turn into something special.

In 2017, Taco Charlton failed to start a single game for the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie. That's not really what you want from your first-round draft pick. To makes matters worse, in 16 games he only registered 25 total tackles, four QB sacks, two passes defensed, and one forced fumble. As you can imagine, it didn't sit well with most Cowboys fans.

Luckily, it looks as if Charlton's offseason in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program has paid off. Already in 2018 he has accumulated six total tackles, one QB sack, one pass defensed, and recovered a fumble. If he keeps this pace up, we could be looking at #97 reaching double-digit sacks this year.

Taco Charlton

Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton

Now, I wouldn't call what Taco Charlton has accomplished so far this season dominating, but he is proving to be a starting quality DE along the Cowboys defensive line. It's a unit that has looked really good in the first two weeks of the season and is expected to be even better once Randy Gregory and David Irving are able to return to the field.

In the meantime, the Dallas Cowboys are happy to get plays like this from Taco Charlton.

Taco Charlton Eli Manning sack

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

This is a play Charlton is expected to make. He was left unblocked, but we've seen players left unblocked before not make the play. So, it may not be as impressive as some QB sacks. But, I'll take the routine tackle any day over someone trying to make a splash play and failing.

If you're looking for an impressive play from Taco Charlton, take a look at what he was able to do against Odell Beckham Jr. in the passing game.

Taco Charlton covering Odell Beckham Jr

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

In case you're wondering, that's Taco Charlton in OBJ's hip pocket 15 yards down the field in pass coverage. It looks as if that's where Eli Manning was wanting to go with the ball, but tight coverage by the Cowboys, and Charlton, across the board ended up resulting in a QB sack.

If you don't find that impressive, I don't know what will. A 275 pound DE covering arguably the best and highest paid wide receiver down the field is almost unheard of. I would count that as impressive.

What do you think of Taco Charlton's play so far in 2018?



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Star Blog

A Look Around The NFC East: Week 2

Kevin Brady

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Film Room: How Dak Prescott Beat The Giants' Blitz

The usually competitive NFC East got off to a shaky start last week, with half the division winning their season opener and the other half falling short.

Now entering week 2, the Eagles and Redskins have a chance to begin to distance themselves from the loser of the Cowboys/Giants game, and both of those 0-1 teams are looking to "save" their season. Yes, that sounds dramatic, but a home loss within the division to fall to 0-2 could be debilitating for the Dallas Cowboys moving forward.

Regardless, let's go around the division and see what each team has on tap for this Sunday.

Philadelphia Eagles

The defending champs opened up their 2018 campaign just as we expected: with a home victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta sort of gave that game away last Thursday night, but if the Eagles can stack Nick Foles-led wins on top of each other they'll put themselves in a great spot to win the East when Carson Wentz returns.

The Eagles will be on the road this week for the first time, traveling to Tampa Bay to play the 1-0 Buccaneers. The Bucs pulled the upset of the weekend last week, defeating New Orleans 48-40. It's hard to imagine that "Fitzmagic" continuing against the vaunted Eagles defense, though.

Philly is a three point road favorite against Tampa Bay this Sunday.

Washington Redskins

My "sleeper" team in the NFC East, and pick to finish second in the division, looked rather impressive in their week one drubbing of the Arizona Cardinals. Of course, Arizona isn't a very good team, and will probably be picking top 5 in the draft next April. Still, it was a good showing for the Redskins to open the season.

Washington got Adrian Peterson going on the ground for nearly 100 yards and a touchdown, and Chris Thompson helped keep them on schedule offensively as well. Washington hasn't been talked about much this offseason, but is sitting at 1-0 with a game against the 0-1 Colts on the horizon.

Washington is a 6 point favorite against Indianapolis this Sunday, and has a good chance of starting 2-0 on the year.

New York Giants

Though we are just one week into the 2018 regular season, an important matchup is brewing within the NFC East. After falling to 0-1 with a home loss in their season opener, the Giants will travel to Texas to face the Cowboys on Sunday night football this week.

With both teams sitting at 0-1, neither can afford to put themselves into a nearly-insurmountable hole with a second straight loss. Since the merger 90% of teams who fall to 0-2 fail to make the playoffs, and it would be back-to-back seasons of missing out for both the Cowboys and Giants.

New York is a three point road underdog on Sunday, and it seems like most of the football world is leaning towards them and their weapons coming away with the victory.

Either way, this game will have massive implications on the 2018 season.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: ¿Qué Sigue Para la Ofensiva de los Cowboys?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys en Español: ¿Qué Sigue Para la Ofensiva de los Cowboys?

En lo que fue una de las actuaciones más decepcionantes de la semana 1, los Dallas Cowboys no fueron capaces de avanzar en la ofensiva más que en una serie en la que anotaron un touchdown y una conversión de dos puntos. Fue un juego en el que nada funcionó más que la defensiva, la cual limitó a Cam Newton y compañía a sólo 16 puntos en un partido que pareció parejo, pero realmente no lo fue.

Ahora, antes de que los Cowboys jueguen su primer partido divisional del año contra los New York Giants, los aficionados del America's Team se preguntan ¿qué sigue para la ofensiva de los Dallas Cowboys? La ofensiva que tanto prometía hace un par de años, cuando Ezekiel Elliott y Dak Prescott lideraron a su equipo al primer sembrado de la NFC como novatos.

No se puede culpar a una sola persona por lo que sucedió el domingo pasado. La actuación fue tan deficiente que se tiene que señalar todo lo que falló. En primera instancia, hablemos del pésimo plan ofensivo de parte del coordinador de esta ofensiva, Scott Linehan.

Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan

Dallas Cowboys coaches Scott Linehan and Jason Garrett

Si algo hemos escuchado decir una y otra vez acerca de la ofensiva de Dak Prescott y los Cowboys es que es una sencilla, pero una difícil de vencer. Naturalmente, eso ha cambiado los últimos dos años. Esta ofensiva ya no debería de ser la misma que tomó a la liga por sorpresa en el 2016, no obstante, lo es.

En varias ocasiones, los Panthers no tuvieron ningún problema "telegrafiando" las jugadas de los Cowboys en cuanto sacaban el balón, resaltando la poca creatividad en la ofensiva de Linehan. Peor aún, en los momentos en los que se podría decir que fue creativo, lo fue en un mal sentido. Después de firmar y obtener a tantos receptores talentosos (que a pesar de no tener un claro #1, hay mucha profundidad), Dallas se alineó con dos tight ends en formaciones con cinco jugadores abiertos. ¿Por qué?

Esto le dio muy pocas oportunidades a Dak Prescott, quien hizo el problema más grande. Cuando tuvo esas pocas ventanas para lanzar profundo, la puntería del QB les costó bastantes series a los Cowboys. La más notable de estas, un pase profundo en la que el TE Blake Jarwin se había desmarcado y pudo haber llegado muy lejos, incluso quizá a la zona de anotación. En cambio, Prescott apenas llegó el balón a sus pies.

Sin embargo, la puntería profunda de Prescott es la menor de mis preocupaciones. Siempre hemos sabido que no es un Aaron Rodgers ni un Tom Brady. Lo que más me sorprende es la falta de calma de Dak. Siempre se le respetó por eso como novato, pero ahora se ve incomodó en el bolsillo, algo que tiene que cambiar inmediatamente puesto que era una de sus fortalezas.

Finalmente, la línea ofensiva, que se supone es una de las unidades más fuertes del equipo, se vio mal. La'el Collins y Tyron Smiths fueron responsables de múltiples castigos de holding, que terminaron matando series ofensivas. Connor Williams tuvo un debut bastante complicado contra el DT Kawann Short. Joe Looney, a pesar de ser un backup, se vio bien.

La pregunta de muchos es, ¿habrá cambios?

 1

La respuesta a corto plazo es un rotundo no. Nada cambiará en el equipo de coaches ni en la posición de quarterback durante este inicio de la campaña 2018. Sin embargo, si el equipo continua perdiendo y se llega a topar con un récord muy perdedor en la semana 8 o 9, preparémonos.

Comenzaré diciendo que el primer cambio que considero más probable es en la posición de coordinador ofensivo. Si bien Dak puede resultar no ser el mariscal franquicia que tantos queríamos, ¿no vale la pena verlo jugar bajo el mando de otro coordinador? Un coordinador que lo ponga en una mejor posición para tener éxito y que se encargue de reducir el aparente miedo que hay a la hora de lanzar a lo largo. Eso sería ideal para el desarrollo de Dak, si es que llega a haber cambios.

Lo mismo para Jason Garrett, quien para mantenerse vivo debe voltear el rumbo de su equipo ya que lo que vimos en la primera semana fue desastroso. Garrett podría estar en peligro si las cosas no cambian pronto, sobre todo considerando la presencia de alguien como el coach de la secundaria defensiva, Kris Richard.

Finalmente, hablemos de lo que le espera a Dak Prescott.

Si Dak no corrige su manera de jugar y continua actuando como lo hizo la primera semana, habrá problemas en su futuro. Considerando que una extensión de contrato se avecina, Dak tiene que demostrar que puede tomar ese siguiente paso. Esperemos que lo logre, porque al final de cuentas, esperamos que todos en el equipo mejoren, pero ¿qué pasa si no es así?

Un juego no es suficiente para quitarle el trabajo, pero una mala temporada podría serlo. Ya sea por agencia libre o por medio del NFL Draft, los Cowboys podrían estar buscando alternativas si Prescott continua con este nivel todo el año.

Personalmente, tengo fe en Prescott. Creo que a pesar de que no será un MVP que cargará al equipo a la gloria, puede hacerlo con un buen apoyo. Y francamente, creo que Dallas tiene justo eso. Simplemente hay que ejecutar. Puede ser la parte más difícil de todas, pero hay mucho talento en el roster como para ser limitados a ocho puntos.

Las primeras impresiones son duraderas, pero no siempre son ciertas. Esperemos que el equipo encuentre una manera de darle la vuelta al barco cuando se enfrenten a los Giants este domingo en el NBC Sunday Night Football que se transmitirá en ESPN 2 en México.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: ¿Qué Sigue Para la Ofensiva de los Cowboys?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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