More

    The Pressure is Rising for Cowboys FS Byron Jones

    Yesterday, fellow writer Sean Martin wrote a good piece on reasons for optimism for the entire Cowboys secondary. I'm not quite as excited about the situation as he is, and because of that I wanted to dig a little deeper into second-year man Byron Jones. Despite his youth and inexperience, I think he is still paramount to the Cowboys' defensive success in 2016.

     

     - Byron Jones, #31

     

    All indication is that Jones, who shifted between cornerback and as a rookie, will be locked in as the this year. His athleticism and skill set make him prototypical for the rangy, ball-hawking “ fielder” that the Cowboys haven't had since… ummm… ever?

    The terms “free” and “strong” safety haven't meant a lot in Dallas for a while. Whether it was or , the Cowboys' top safety has had to move all around the field in various formations. Despite being ideally sized and skilled for playing down in the box, both Church and Sensabaugh have also been the best coverage players at safety and have had to play out in coverage more than you'd really want them to.

    While will certainly be used on the occasional blitz, and Church may drop back into coverage to confuse quarterbacks, it appears they will bring back the more traditional roles of the starting safeties. This puts tremendous pressure on Jones, in just his sophomore season and first year as a full-time safety, to deliver as the last line of the Cowboys .

    As mentioned earlier, I'm not as optimistic about the Cowboys' cornerbacks as others. is coming back from a major and, frankly, has always been a little overrated. He's certainly a solid starter and appears to be a strong locker room guy. Still, I think his value has been overestimated because he's been the best of an otherwise weak position group.

    Even if Scandrick comes back completely unhindered, he's not a corner.

    Scandrick's inflated value trickles through the rest of the group. and , who have barely been worthy starters in Dallas, will battle for the number-two job. They appear locked into the top three, barring a surprising third-year surge by .

    Sadly, we've seen worse cornerback groups in Dallas. Still, this crop is going to have issues and it's going to force Byron Jones to clean up those mistakes.

    If that wasn't concerning enough, it appears the Cowboys will have another year of pass-rushing issues. to their two best talents at , and , will force unproven youngsters and journeyman veterans into starting roles early in the year. and could emerge as a great duo at the spots but still have to prove it.

    Of course, this means more time for opposing quarterbacks and receivers to let routes develop. It means the field getting stretched further and decisions having to be made on which guy to cover. And who does that impact more than anybody else on the field?

     

    Cowboys Blog - Are Dallas Cowboys 1st Rounders Getting Coaches New Jobs?
    Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

     

    Byron Jones could be the next Ed Reed, but Ed Reed wouldn't have been Ed Reed without the rest of that great defense in front of him. Even if Jones is playing at the highest level, will his teammates give him a chance to show it?

    Thankfully, Byron Jones gives the Cowboys more potential and talent at safety than they've had since at least . If he can make a few big plays early in the year, Jones could give opponents something new to worry about if they test him. It's been a long time since any of Dallas' safeties weren't liabilities in coverage, let alone a threat to the other team.

    It's a lot to ask from a second-year player, even if he was a late first-round pick. We can only hope that Byron Jones is ready for the challenge.

    spot_imgspot_imgspot_img
    Jess Haynie
    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!

    Latest

    Cowboys remain resilient in statement win over the Giants

    It wouldn't truly be Thanksgiving without a side of...

    #DALvsNYG: 2nd-half adjustments gobble Giants up

    The Dallas Cowboys overcame a shaky first half and...

    DAL 28, NYG 20: Cowboys bounce back to claim a Thanksgiving Day victory

    After a rough first half, the Cowboys came out...

    Halftime Report: Shaky start for the Cowboys, Giants lead 13 – 7

    Giants were up first on offense but were forced...

    Newsletter

    Daily Cowboys News in Your Inbox
    Name:*
    Your email address:*
    Please enter all required fields Click to hide
    Correct invalid entries Click to hide

    Trending Now

    Fantasy Outlook: It’s Hard to Trust any Cowboys Player Next Season

    I am already looking forward to my fantasy football...

    Cowboys Reveal New Uniforms for Week 17 vs Titans

    Another uniform emerges for the Dallas Cowboys to wear...

    Diggs Island – Trevon Diggs is entering elite status

    It’s hard to find a cornerback that is under...

    The Star: Getting Inside the Dallas Cowboys New Home

    The Dallas Cowboys star logo is one of the...

    Why are the Dallas Cowboys Considered “America’s Team?”

    The Dallas Cowboys are one National Football League team...

    Will Jalen Tolbert suit up again this season?

    The third-round pick out of South Alabama has been...

    Cowboys Nostalgia: Before Jerry Jones

    25 years ago Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys...

    Is Rush Hour Almost Over? Jerry Jones Suggests It Might Be

    Earlier in the week, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones indicated...

    Cowboys vs Vikings — Over/Under Reactions

    Frustration has been brewing in Dallas, as the Cowboys are looking to get back on track today against the Minnesota Vikings. This is going...

    It’s time to increase the snap count for Sam Williams

    With a team full of pass rushers, Sam Williams, the second-round pick for the Cowboys, has been making the most of his limited snaps...

    No excuses for the Cowboys anymore — Can they figure it out?

    Halloween may be over, but Aaron Rodgers is still haunting the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys fall to the Green Bay Packers in overtime 31-28, after...