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Thread: Archer: Cowboys contemplate moving Byron Jones back to cornerback

  1. #1
    One-armed Knife Sharpener Iamtdg's Avatar
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    Archer: Cowboys contemplate moving Byron Jones back to cornerback

    Cowboys contemplate moving Byron Jones back to cornerback
    7:00 AM CT
    Todd Archer
    ESPN Staff Writer

    FRISCO, Texas -- On Monday, ESPN Insider Bill Barnwell began a series with five moves each team in the NFC East should make this offseason.

    For the Dallas Cowboys, the list touched on a lot of the things that already have been written about: 1. Extend Zack Martin, 2. Restructure Travis Frederickís contract, 3. Ask Dez Bryant to either take a pay cut or be cut, and 4. Place the franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence.

    The fifth move was to pick up Byron Jonesí first-year option and pick a place for him to play.
    After spending the last two seasons at safety, Byron Jones might be switched back to cornerback, where he played as a rookie. Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

    The Cowboys want to talk to Martinís agents soon, likely at the NFL scouting combine, to work on a deal that will make him the highest paid guard in NFL history. The Cowboys have no problem with that. The issue will be the structure of the contract. Martin doesnít want to leave. The Cowboys want him to stay. It could happen rather quickly, but likely will take time because of issues other than total dollars and total guarantee.

    Restructuring Frederickís contract would open up about $7 million in cap space. Add that to a Martin extension that would lower his current cap figure of $9.3 million and the Cowboys could be in business. Barnwell also correctly says the Cowboys should stay away from reworking Tyron Smithís contract. His injuries the past two years should give them pause before further ballooning the cap figures in the future. The Cowboys should look at reworking Smithís deal only as a matter of last resort.

    I made the bold prediction that Bryant would not be with the Cowboys in 2018 last week. To some, it might not be that bold. To others, it might sound crazy. Predictions often are wrong, but the Cowboys (i.e. Stephen Jones) sound ready to move on from Bryant, which would open up at least $8.5 million more in cap room.

    If the Cowboys place the franchise tag on Lawrence, that would eat up a good portion of their cap room with an estimated $17 million price tag. That should put more of an impetus on a deal for Martin, restructuring Frederick and asking Bryant to take a pay cut. They will need cap space to improve the team even if they wonít break the bank in free agency.

    Which brings us to Jones, the Cowboysí first-round pick in 2015.

    As a rookie, Jones mostly played cornerback, outside and in the slot. He did a solid job on tight ends as well. When the Cowboys took him, they mentioned the possibility of moving him to safety in the future, like what the New England Patriots did with Devin McCourty. By the end of his rookie season, Jones was starting at safety and has spent the past two seasons playing that position.

    There have been good moments and bad moments for Jones since. Last training camp he looked like he was ready to have a breakout season with his work in practice. He showed the range and athleticism necessary to play a center-field type role, but when Chidobe Awuzie suffered a hamstring strain, Jonesí role was altered.

    He did not play the center-field role. Oftentimes he was down inside the box and used to defend tight ends. He had one interception, six pass breakups and was credited by coaches with 74 tackles. By the end of the season, he was splitting time with Kavon Frazier with Jeff Heath remaining on the field full time.

    According to multiple sources, the Cowboys are considering using Jones at cornerback again. New secondary coach Kris Richard likes bigger corners. He had Richard Sherman with the Seattle Seahawks. At 6-0, 205 pounds, Jones would qualify as a big corner. He has the necessary athleticism.

    The Cowboys liked the way rookies Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis and Xavier Woods ended the season as their top three corners, but teams never have enough corners. Veteran Orlando Scandrick could be on his way out, although his $3 million salary could make him a potential trade target. Jones would bring some scheme flexibility with his move back to corner.

    Sometimes versatility hurts a player. It has hurt Tyrone Crawford. Because he can play multiple spots on the defensive line, he has not been able to play the position the Cowboys intended him to play (the under tackle) when they signed him to a $45 million extension in 2014. Crawford seemed to find a home last year at right defensive end and had a better season than his four sacks would indicate.

    Since the moment he was drafted, the Cowboys lauded Jonesí versatility. Having position flexibility is a bonus, but it also can prevent a player from reaching his full potential at one spot.

    After three seasons, the Cowboys still donít know what Jones is.

    If they move him to corner full time in 2018, they need to keep him there full time so he can show what he is -- or isnít.
    2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

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    Administrator boozeman's Avatar
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    Makes sense because the free safety thing ain't working out.

  3. #3
    One-armed Knife Sharpener Iamtdg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boozeman View Post
    Makes sense because the free safety thing ain't working out.
    It was dumb to begin with. Surely they could see in practice that he isn't keen on contact.
    2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

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    Senior Member vince's Avatar
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    Are the Cowboys contemplating? Or is Kris Richard demanding this?

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    One-armed Knife Sharpener Iamtdg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vince View Post
    Are the Cowboys contemplating? Or is Kris Richard demanding this?
    I'm sure Richard has something to do with it. It is obvious he likes big corners.
    2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

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    Senior Member bbgun's Avatar
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    He's running out of positions to suck at.

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    Senior Member Simpleton's Avatar
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    He's always been at his best as the slot CB vs. TE's in nickel/dime anyway, that's where he's basically played at least 30-40% of his snaps so far anyway.

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    Senior Member vince's Avatar
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    Move BJ to corner and bring Earl Thomas in to replace him at safety.

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    Senior Member deadrise's Avatar
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    If the captain of the ship is too stupid or incompetent to avoid icebergs, the Jones move is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

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  11. #10
    Senior Member mschmidt64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boozeman View Post
    Makes sense because the free safety thing ain't working out.
    Well it sounds like they never really tried him at FS. They keep bringing him into the box cause they value his TE shadowing ability or some nonsense.

    Of course.... the angles he'd take when he was deep don't inspire me with a ton of confidence either.

    Side note.... why is Scandrick on the chop block? Why can't he just be a plus fourth CB for us? He's not too expensive to keep.

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