Byron Jones (American football)

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Byron Jones
refer to caption
Jones in the 2017 NFL season.
No. 31 – Dallas Cowboys
Position:Cornerback
Personal information
Born: (1992-09-26) September 26, 1992 (age 26)
New Britain, Connecticut
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school:St. Paul Catholic
(Bristol, Connecticut)
College:Connecticut
NFL Draft:2015 / Round: 1 / Pick: 27
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2018
Total tackles:284
Sacks:0.0
Pass deflections:37
Interceptions:2
Forced fumbles:2
Defensive touchdowns:1
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Byron Philip Jones (born September 26, 1992) is an American football cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Connecticut. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the 27th pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He holds the unofficial world record for the standing long jump at 12 feet 3 inches (3.74 meters).[1]

Early years[edit]

Jones attended St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol, Connecticut and played for Jude Kelly. He was a gifted track & field athlete, Jones was one of the state's top performers in the 200m and 400m. At the 2010 NVL Outdoor T&F Championships, he earned first-place finishes in both the 200-meter dash (22.13s) and 400-meter dash (48.43s).[2]

In football, he received Class MM All-State and All-Naugatuck Valley honors as a senior and team captain. He was considered a two-star recruit by Rivals.com.[3] He also played basketball.

College career[edit]

Jones accepted a scholarship from the University of Connecticut Huskies. As a redshirt freshman, he started 2 games at cornerback and six of the final seven games at safety. He recorded 51 tackles (sixth on the team), one fumble recovery, 2 interceptions and 4 passes defensed. He returned a fumble for a game-winning touchdown against the University of South Florida.[4]

As a sophomore, he started 12 games at safety, tallying 88 tackles (third on the team), one interception and 2 passes defensed. The next year, he was switched to cornerback, starting 11-of-12 games, while registering 60 tackles (fourth on the team), 3 interceptions and 8 passes defensed.

Jones started 7 games at cornerback as a senior, posting 24 tackles, 2 interceptions and 4 passes defensed. He had a 70-yard interception return against the University of South Florida in what ESPN announcers called "what might be the UConn play of the year".[5] He missed the rest of the season after undergoing surgery for a shoulder injury suffered in a loss against East Carolina University.[6] He finished his college career with 223 total tackles, 8 interceptions and 2 touchdowns.[7]

Professional career[edit]

Prior to the NFL combine, Jones was ranked the 25th best cornerback prospect in the draft by NFL.com.[8][9] He was one of 54 defensive backs to receive an invitation to the NFL combine. At the NFL Scouting Combine, he set a new combine and world record for standing broad-jump by leaping 12-feet, 3-inches (3.73m), beating Jamie Collins's old record of 11-feet, 7-inches (3.53m) set in 2013.[10][11] He was limited to the bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, short shuttle, and three-cone. Jones also finished first of all combine participants in the vertical leap. His combine performance gave him an immediate rise up draft boards and made him a top defensive back prospect.

On March 31, 2015, Jones attended UConn's pro day, along with Deshon Foxx, Geremy Davis, B. J. McBryde, and five others. He completed his combine drills and ran positional drills run by Minnesota Vikings' head coach Mike Zimmer. Zimmer was one of the team representatives and scouts from 29 NFL teams who attended his pro day, along with Philadelphia Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly.[12] Jones had private workouts and visits with the Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, and San Francisco 49ers.[13] At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Jones was projected to be a first round pick by NFL draft experts and scouts. He was ranked as the third best cornerback prospect in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com, was ranked the seventh best cornerback by NFL analyst Mike Mayock, and was ranked the seventh best cornerback in the draft by Sports Illustrated.[14][15][16]

External video
Byron Jones' combine workout
Byron Jones' world record broad jump
Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 0 58 in
(1.84 m)
199 lb
(90 kg)
32 in
(0.81 m)
10 in
(0.25 m)
4.43 s 1.50 s 2.52 s 3.94 s 6.78 s 44 12 in
(1.13 m)
12 ft 3 in
(3.73 m)
18 reps
All values from NFL Combine/UConn's Pro Day[17]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

The Dallas Cowboys selected Jones in the first round (27th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. He was the fourth cornerback selected in 2015.[18]

External video
Dallas Cowboys select Byron Jones

2015[edit]

On June 11, 2015, the Dallas Cowboys signed Jones to a four-year, $8.60 million contract that includes $6.93 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $4.51 million.[19]

Throughout training camp, Jones competed for a job as a starting cornerback, against Morris Claiborne and Tyler Patmon, after Orlando Scandrick tore his MCL and ACL.[20] Head coach Jason Garrett named Jones the backup cornerback behind Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne.[21]

He made his professional regular season debut in the Dallas Cowboys' season-opener against the New York Giants and made his first career tackle on Eli Manning during their 27-26 victory. On October 25, 2015, Jones recorded a season-high seven combined tackles and two pass deflections in the Cowboys' 27-20 loss at the New York Giants. On November 1, 2015, Jones earned his first career start at free safety in place of J. J. Wilcox.[22] He made three combined tackles and a pass deflection in their 13-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.[23] In Week 11, Jones earned his first start at cornerback after Morris Claiborne sustained a hamstring injury and missed two consecutive games (Weeks 11-13).[24] He finished the Cowboys' 24-14 victory at the Miami Dolphins with three solo tackles and had difficulties in pass coverage after giving a 47-yard touchdown reception to Jarvis Landry and a 29-yard touchdown reception to Kenny Stills.[25] He finished his rookie season with 67 combined tackles (47 solo) and nine pass deflections in 16 games and 11 starts.[26] Jones started the final ten games of the season, with three starts at safety and four at cornerback and nickelback.

2016[edit]

Jones entered training camp as the favorite to start at free safety and competed with J.J. Wilcox.[27] Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli opted to named him as the starting free safety to start the regular season, alongside strong safety Barry Church.[28]

In Week 10, Jones recorded a season-high 12 combined tackles (11 solo) during a 35-30 victory at the Pittsburgh Steelers. On December 18, 2016, he made seven combined tackles, broke up two passes, and recorded his first career interception off a pass by quarterback Jameis Winston in the Cowboys' 26-20 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jones finished the 2016 season with 88 combined tackles (73 solo), ten pass deflections, and an interception in 16 games and 16 starts.[26] Pro Football Focus gave Jones an overall grade of 83.4 in 2016.[29]

The Dallas Cowboys finished first in the NFC East with a 13-3 record and a first round bye. On January 15, 2017, Jones started his first career playoff game and recorded five solo tackles and deflected two passes in a 34-31 loss at the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional round.[30]

2017[edit]

Jones chases Chris Thompson in a game against the Washington Redskins

Jones remained the starting free safety to begin the 2017 regular season, alongside strong safety Jeff Heath. In Week 4, he recorded a season-high seven solo tackles in the Cowboys' 35-30 loss against the Los Angeles Rams. On October 29, 2017, he made five combined tackles, broke up a pass, and returned an interception by Kirk Cousins for a 21-yard touchdown in a 33-19 victory at the Washington Redskins. On December 10, 2017, Jones collected a season-high nine combined tackles during a 39-10 win at the New York Giants.[31] He finished the 2017 season with 82 combined tackles (57 solo), five pass deflections, an interception, and a touchdown in 16 games and 16 starts.[26] Pro Football Focus gave Jones an overall grade of 76.8 in 2017, which ranked 54th among all qualifying safeties.[32]

2018[edit]

In the 2018 offseason, Jones announced that he would be switching from free safety back to cornerback.[33] On April 22, 2018, the Cowboys picked up the fifth-year option on Jones' contract.[34] After an excellent year as the Cowboys starting cornerback, Jones was elected to his first career Pro Bowl.[35] In 2019, he was listed among the 40 Under 40 List put out by Connecticut Magazine.[36]

NFL statistics[edit]

NFL career statistics
Season Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Year Team GP GS Comb Solo Asst Sack Sfty PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR
2015 DAL 16 11 65 47 18 0.0 0 8 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2016 DAL 16 16 81 67 14 0.0 0 10 1 7 7.0 7 0 1 0
2017 DAL 16 16 71 48 23 0.0 0 5 1 21 21.0 21 1 1 0
2018 DAL 16 16 67 56 11 0.0 0 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 64 59 284 218 66 0.0 0 37 2 28 14.0 21 1 2 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fischer, Bryan. "UConn's Byron Jones breaks combine, world broad jump marks". NFL.com. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  2. ^ "Naugatuck Valley League Championships - 5/25/2010 : Outdoor Track and Field-Woodland Reg HS CT". Ct.milesplit.com. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  3. ^ "Byron Jones - Yahoo! Sports". Rivals.yahoo.com. July 30, 2009. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  4. ^ "Byron Jones Returns Fumble For A UConn TD - Hartford Courant". Courant.com. October 15, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  5. ^ "2Q CONN M. White pass intercepted for a TD, B. Jones return for 70 yds for a TD, (B. Puyol KICK) - ESPN Video". Espn.go.com. August 21, 2015. Archived from the original on February 26, 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  6. ^ "UConn Huskies lose CB Byron Jones for season due to shoulder injury". Espn.go.com. October 24, 2014. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  7. ^ "Byron Jones Stats | College Football at". Sports-reference.com. May 26, 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  8. ^ Tony Manfred (February 23, 2015). "NFL Draft prospect jumps ridiculously high, historically far at the combine". businessinsider.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  9. ^ Lance Zierlein (March 26, 2015). "2015 NFL Draft: Lance Zierlein's top 10 cornerbacks". NFL.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  10. ^ "UConn's Byron Jones Sets Broad Jump World Record At NFL Combine - Hartford Courant". Courant.com. February 23, 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  11. ^ "NFL Prospect Byron Jones Decimates Jumping Record At Scouting Combine". Huffingtonpost.com. February 23, 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  12. ^ Desmon Connor (March 31, 2015). "Byron Jones Impresses NFL Observers At UConn's Pro Day". courant.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  13. ^ Ebenezer Samuel (April 23, 2015). "NFL Draft 2015 preview: UConn cornerback Byron Jones' stock is soaring". nydailynews.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  14. ^ "Byron Jones, DS #3 CB, Connecticut". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  15. ^ Chris Burke (April 14, 2015). "2015 NFL Draft rankings: Cornerback". si.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  16. ^ Mike Mayock (April 28, 2015). "Mike Mayock's final draft positional rankings". NFL.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  17. ^ "Byron Jones | Connecticut, CB : 2015 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". Nfldraftscout.com. September 21, 2006. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  18. ^ Sharp, Kate (April 30, 2015). "NFL Draft picks 2015: Byron Jones drafted by Cowboys". sbnation.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  19. ^ "Spotrac.com: Byron Jones contract". Spotrac.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  20. ^ Carroll, Robert (July 8, 2015). "Dallas Cowboys Cornerback Battle: Tyler Patmon vs. Byron Jones". thelandryhat.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  21. ^ "2015 Dallas Cowboys Official Depth Chart For Week 1 vs. New York Giants". bloggingtheboys.com. September 8, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  22. ^ Patterson, Nick (October 30, 2015). "Seahawks vs. Cowboys injury report, Russell Okung questionable". heraldnet.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  23. ^ "NFL Player stats: Byron Jones (2015)". NFL.com. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  24. ^ "Dallas Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne has another injured hamstring". sportsday.dallasnews.com. December 14, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  25. ^ "Cowboys' Byron Jones updates injury status after rough day against Dolphins". sportsday.dallasnews.com. November 22, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  26. ^ a b c "NFL Player stats: Byron Jones (career)". NFL.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  27. ^ Williams, Charean (May 18, 2016). "Safety J.J. Wilcox ready for competition, hoping to find role with Cowboys". star-telegram.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  28. ^ "Dallas Cowboys Release Depth Chart For Week 1 vs. New York Giants". bloggingtheboys.com. September 9, 2016. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  29. ^ Whitefield, Brett (May 25, 2017). "Best player under 25 years old at every defensive position". profootballfocus.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  30. ^ "NFL Player stats: Byron Jones (2016)". NFL.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  31. ^ "NFL Player stats: Byron Jones (2017)". NFL.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  32. ^ "Pro Football Focus: Byron Jones". ProFootballFocus.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  33. ^ Wesseling, Chris (April 16, 2018). "Cowboys' Byron Jones says he's moving to cornerback". NFL.com.
  34. ^ Jackson, Lakisha (April 22, 2018). "Cowboys plan to pick up Byron Jones' fifth-year option". NFL.com.
  35. ^ Around The NFL staff. "NFL reveals rosters for 2019 Pro Bowl in Orlando". NFL.com. Retrieved December 19, 2018.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  36. ^ "40 Under 40: The Class of 2019." (Connecticut Magazine) (January 23, 2019) Retrieved March 5, 2019.

External links[edit]