With the recent extension of Demarcus Lawrence, the Cowboys young core could be shaken up. The Arizona Cardinals should view the situation as an opportunity to add to an already much-improved defense.
Over the past few drafts, Jerry Jones and his Cowboys staff have built a young star-studded core in Dallas. However, with their recent resigning of edge rusher Demarcus Lawrence, they have may need to separate with one of their own to keep the key pieces of that core intact.
In 2020 the Cowboys will likely make resigning Pro-Bowlers Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and Byron Jones all priorities. But the bleeding doesn’t stop there. In 2021 they may need to do the same with standouts Ezekiel Elliot and Jaylon Smith.
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Because of that soon to be expensive young-core coupled with an already pricey offensive line, the Dallas Cowboys may need to make sacrifices. That sacrifice may be Byron Jones — a stud 26-year-old former safety turned cornerback.
Byron Jones may be the odd-man out due to the depth behind him and impending free agent status. The Cowboys can replace the cornerback on a cheaper price tag with improving youngsters Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Anthony Brown.
As some rumors indicate, the possibility of Byron Jones departing from the Cowboys isn’t far fetched. If he is on the trade block, the Arizona Cardinals should pursue a player that may be a hot commodity.
With the additions of Robert Alford and Tramaine Brock to the Cardinals cornerback room that already features Patrick Peterson, most would conclude that the group is set. And it may be. But, with an average age of 29.3 and average Pro Football Focus grade of 66.2 (mediocre), the grouping could add a boost in the name of Byron Jones.
Jones finished the 2018 season as PFF‘s sixth-rated cornerback with an overall grade of 83.1. He earned a Pro-Bowl nod as well and finished the year with 67 tackles and 14 pass deflections, per PFF he also had 11 pass breakups.
More impressive than his stats is Jones lock-down ability. He uses his 6-foot, 205-pound frame and explosive athleticism to his advantage in man coverage and an understanding of zone. However, he’s best when faced against physical wide receivers and allowed just a 53.6% catch rate in coverage, per PFF.
While Jones showed he belonged in the upper-tier of defensive backs in 2018, his lack of tape at the position and 2020 free-agent status mean the price to acquire him may be affordable. His talent may scream a value of a first round pick, but the Cowboys shouldn’t expect to get more than a 2019 or ’20 second round pick and perhaps another late round selection.
If the selling price is less than a first or their high 2019 second, the Arizona Cardinals would be wise to look into taking their defense over the hump in a possible acquisition for Byron Jones or one of their younger cornerbacks.
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