The Cowboys are expected to exercise Byron Jones‘ fifth-year option, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The move will keep Jones, a UConn product, under club control through the 2019 season. He will be locked into a $6.266MM salary, guaranteed for injury only, for 2019.
Jones, whom the Cowboys selected with the 27th overall pick of the 2015 draft, played cornerback at UConn and during the early portion of his rookie season in Dallas, but he settled in at safety thereafter. His overall performance took a bit of a dip last year, but that could be due to the fact that he was asked to play closer to the line of scrimmage in 2017 than in the preceding campaigns. Over the past two seasons, he has started every game and has compiled 130 tackles, two interceptions (including one pick-six), and two forced fumbles.
Jones will be moving back to cornerback in 2018, as he confirmed just last week. He will work under the tutelage of new defensive backs coach Kris Richard, who helped turn the Seahawks’ secondary into one of the most formidable in the league during his time in Seattle.
Although it remains to be seen whether Jones will be operating in the slot or outside the numbers, his wallet should also benefit from the move to corner. Corners generally earn more than safeties, as reflected in the franchise tag numbers for the two positions, which will help Jones when he goes to negotiate his next contract.
The Cowboys have until May 3 to formally exercise Jones’ option. All of the fifth-year decisions on 2015 first-rounders can be found on our tracker.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.