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Is Florida’s CJ Henderson the Answer to Replace Byron Jones?

The Dallas Cowboys wanted to keep All-Pro Cornerback Byron Jones, but at their price. They had a figure of around 12-13 million annually, however, Jones decided to go for the bag and signed a five-year, 82.5 million dollar deal with the Miami Dolphins.

In addition to their already pressing needs at the beginning of the offseason at defensive tackle and safety, cornerback would elevate as far as it’s level of importance in the NFL Draft for the Cowboys with the departure of Jones. Lately, there’s been a name that’s being mentioned in recent mock drafts to possibly solve the Cowboys search for a top cornerback and that’s Florida’s CJ Henderson.

He didn’t waste any time making an impact in Gainesville. In his collegiate debut in 2017, he would return an interception for a touchdown against Michigan. A week later, he ran back another interception for a score vs Tennessee making him the first freshman in school history to return an interception for a touchdown in each of his first two games. He would finish with 22 tackles, four interceptions, and four passes defended and was named second-team All-SEC by the Associated Press. In 2018, Henderson had arguably his best season at Florida with 38 tackles, two interceptions, three sacks, five passes defended, and two forced fumbles while garnering second-team All-SEC honors from the league’s coaches. He didn’t record an interception in 2019, however, he had his third consecutive good season for the Gators. He finished with 33 tackles, 11 passes defended and a sack in nine games (missed time with an ankle injury). The league’s coaches would vote him first-team All-SEC.

Watch “CJ Henderson Career Highlights” on YouTube

Henderson would come right in and more than likely be the team’s top cornerback, or at least challenge rising star Jourdan Lewis for that role, giving the Cowboys a very formidable one-two punch at the position. Chidobe Awuzie, even coming off a down season, gives you a decent third piece at cornerback. Also, factoring in the re-signing of veteran Anthony Brown, it would give the Cowboys a very solid four-man rotation.

At 6’1 204 pounds Henderson has the ideal size and length you want in a cornerback. He displayed top-notch speed and athleticism at the NFL Scouting Combine running a 4.39 in the 40 and recording a 37.5-inch broad jump. Henderson has amazing anticipation to break up passes and clog throwing lanes. Excellent at reading the quarterbacks eyes, can play in a variety of coverage packages and is good in run support.

Scouting report according to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

“Silky smooth boundary cornerback with mirror-and-match footwork and the agility and athleticism to stay connected to routes. He has NFL recovery burst and the long speed to track vertical routes downfield. He has the twitchy acceleration to jump a throw and take it away if the quarterback lingers on the target, and he’s quick to wrap and finish after the catch. He makes mental mistakes from time to time and occasionally loses awareness from zone. He’s willing and capable in run support but needs better control as an open-field tackler. Henderson is a fluid cornerback with ball skills and burst and has CB1 ability as a first-rounder.”

There’s a very good chance Henderson could be picked just ahead of the Cowboys in the first round. However, if he’s still there at 17 the organization should pull the trigger and get their CB1 of the future.

What do you think?

Matthew Lenix

Written by Matthew Lenix

I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.

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  1. Absolutely agree! Thinking more and more Atlanta will take him at 16 leaving Chaisson, Fulton or trade down!

  2. I absolutely agree if he falls this is a no brainer here. He is the corner of the future for the boys. In my mocks I have Atlanta as well taking him. I just don’t see them passing on him unless their board is way off or viewing other prospects. Dallas might consider jumping a few spots to nab him if they feel he is worth an additional 3rd. But feel with the needs still in place such as wr, edge, safety I can’t see them doing that either.
    We shall see. Like the dream lenix. Good break down.

  3. I don’t think he’s that good!! He was projected to go in the 2nd and 3rd round before the combine for a reason!! Just because he done good at the combine doesn’t mean anything has changed!! The only thing he showed at the combine was that he is fast and can jump!! But before that he was projected for the 2nd and 3rd round!! I know the combine is supposed to raise players draft stock, but I don’t think he’s that good!! I’d take Fulton over him cause Fulton has been projected for the 1st round even before the combine!! But if I could choose anybody in the 1st round I’d rather take Xavier Mckinney over anybody else!! But that’s just my opinion!!

  4. And by the way…. Byron Jones didn’t choose to leave the cowboys for more money, he left because Jerry and Steven didn’t show any interest in keeping him!! Byron said the only reason he left was because Dallas didn’t show any interest in signing him at all!!

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