(Editor's Note: With the offseason practices now complete, the Cowboys will take some downtime before departing for training camp on July 28. Until then, let's focus on some of the more unknown rookies on this team, fighting for a roster spot. Today's featured player is defensive back Byron Jones.)
Name: Byron Jones
Position: Defensive Back
Height/Weight: 6-0 / 199
Acquired: First Round (27th overall)
Jersey Number: 31
Collegiate Career:A four-year starter for the Huskies, Jones played mostly cornerback but showed some flexibility to play safety at times. An injury during his senior season hurt his draft stock momentarily, but that changed at the scouting combine, when he wowed the teams with his athletic ability, including a 12-foot, 3-inch broad jump, which is a 46-year-old world record. And his 44.5 inch vertical jump nearly matched the combine record of 45 inches.
Did You Know?After recording 223 tackles during his career with the Huskies, Jones became just the second player in UConn's history to be drafted in the first round and the first since the Colts took running back Donald Brown in 2009 – also with the 27th overall pick.[embeddedad0]
2015 Outlook:Morris Claiborne's progress might go a long way in determining what to do with this ultra-versatile rookie. Jones was touted as being able to play both cornerback and safety, and he displayed that during OTAs and minicamp. The question is, where do the Cowboys need him more? It's possible he could push J.J. Wilcox for playing time at free safety, or he could ease into the No. 3 cornerback spot. Given his talent, trust the coaching staff to get him on the field somehow, perhaps in nickel and dime situations, at least.
- Can be physical in the press.
- Moves well to get in position.
- Nice power to hold up the receiver. Can mirror his man.
- Able to high-point the ball.
- Will pedal, turn and go.
- Smoothness. Not much wasted motion.
- Plays with his knees bent.
- There are snaps when he slips balance.
- Is quick to read the route.
- Has position flex.
– Bryan Broaddus