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Byron Jones Has Specific Target Date For Return


FRISCO, Texas – If it were up to Byron Jones, he'd be running and cutting right now.

But the Pro Bowl cornerback, who continues to recover from hip surgery he had in late March, doesn't get the final say when it comes to his rehab – and he realizes that's a good thing.

"Overall, rehab is going well. Working on it every day. I'm starting to do lower-body lifts," Jones said. "The frustrating part is I want to go, and I feel I can run. But I have to listen to the (athletic trainers), and so I'm taking my time, being patient and just doing what they're telling me to do."

But ultimately, the goal isn't for Jones to be ready this summer, or even make it back for next week's three-day minicamp. He is eyeing the start of training camp in late July as a true target date for his return.

"Definitely. I want to be back at training camp," Jones said. "I want to be back with my teammates and play in the preseason games. That's the target."

And while many players coming off surgery will be more focused on getting back for the regular-season opener against the Giants on Sept. 4, Jones knows the importance of these offseason practices. In fact, he already feels behind not being able to participate in the OTAs.

"It's weird because I've never gone into a football season without the whole preparatory phase – with the camps, the OTAs and stuff like that," Jones said. "I'm missing most of that. That's fine but it's just one of those things that adds a new complexity to the chapter. It's just another little piece of adversity that can make a pretty good story."

His "story" already had a good chapter last season when he made the move from safety to cornerback and earned his first Pro Bowl selection as well as a second-team All-Pro nod.

Getting to the Pro Bowl was a good start for Jones, who is entering the final season of his five-year contract, but don't think for a second that he's content on his accomplishments.

"You always want to be better than the previous year. That's always my goal," Jones said. "That's really my philosophy in life – just be better than the day before. Just keep building on top of that."