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Mailbag: Best Position For Byron Jones? Vaughan The 3rd Quarterback Again?


Byron Jones has flashed some really good plays in training camp as a cornerback. Given his versatility to play safety as well, which position is more important to this defensive scheme? Which position would maximize Byron's potential in this defense?

David: It's early in the process, but right now, I think my answer is "neither." I'm not sure Byron is going to unseat any of the established starters as a rookie. Instead, I think the Cowboys may feature him prominently as  a dime back. And the reason is that he's got an amazing blend of size and speed that can make him a fantastic matchup against opposing tight ends. With him on the field, the Cowboys can have an extra cover guy without necessarily giving up size. At least, that's my impression through two weeks. We'll see if I'm right.

Rob:These early injuries at cornerback show just how important it is to have depth at that position. You need at least four good corners to defend today's offenses over a 16-game season. Jones really does have traits for both positions, though – he's big and rangy enough to play safety and he has the look of a big, physical corner. I think they've been getting him ready for both spots in case he's needed at either one, and he's shown so far he can handle it. But I'd say Jones at corner is more important to this defense over the course of an entire season.

There are only 53 men that make the roster, and with the amount of talent along the D-Line I just do not see how Dustin Vaughan can be one of those 53. I would hate to see someone like Chris Whaley, Ben Gardner, Ken Bishop, Davon Coleman or Ryan Russell not make this team because we kept 3 quarterbacks again.

David:I want to see a preseason game or two before I completely write off Vaughan's chances of making the team, but I'm not encouraged through two weeks of practices. He just hasn't looked as sharp as you want him to be after a year with the team. And I agree, there are a lot of other talented guys who can help this team, and the odds of the Cowboys being successful if Tony Romo gets hurt are slim anyway – so why carry the extra quarterback? If camp ended today, I think I'd just roll with Romo and Brandon Weeden. But it doesn't, so Vaughan still has time to change that line of thinking.

Rob:I understand your thinking – not only because you might like to keep an extra lineman or special teams guy, but because you might have to keep an extra player at another position by the end of preseason because of injuries. That's one reason the Cowboys went years without keeping a third quarterback – it wasn't always a luxury. Vaughan also played well enough that they wanted to keep him on the active roster. He'll have to show more in the preseason games. At this point, I'd consider giving him some preseason snaps with the first-team offense just to see what he can do with the starters.

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