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Jones will earn $ 6.2 million in his fifth year, per that report, and the contract will be guaranteed for injury.
The Cowboys selected Jones with the 27th overall pick of the 2015 draft. Through his first three seasons with the team, he registered 236 combined tackles and two interceptions. He also forced two fumbles.
Jones was a cornerback when he joined Dallas but shifted to safety midway through his rookie campaign. The move hasn’t exactly worked out, and because of that, some wondered if the Cowboys would want to commit to Jones for another season.
ESPN.com’s Bill Barnwell argued in February the Cowboys should pick up Jones’ option and figure out his best position:
“Jones was expected to be a project coming out of UConn, but Dallas hasn’t helped his development by moving him from cornerback to safety. It seems pretty clear that Jones isn’t a strong safety. He should have the athleticism to play center field as a free safety, but the Cowboys don’t appear to love Jones in that role. Assuming that the Cowboys keep Xavier Woods in the slot (and move on from Orlando Scandrick), Jones could play ahead of Jeff Heath at free safety in 2018 if the Cowboys want to give him a shot there.”
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones on Feb. 22 told the Star-Telegram‘s Drew Davison that selecting Jones’ primary position was “a work in progress.”
Byron Jones, however, said Monday he was being moved back to cornerback last week.
Even with the questions about Jones’ value and potential usage, keeping him under contract through 2019 is the team’s best move, and Kyle Fuller is a perfect example why.
At the time, the decision made sense. Then Fuller recorded career highs in tackles (69) and pass breakups (22) while intercepting two passes.
Instead of having Fuller signed for a little over $ 8.5 million in 2018, the Bears had to use the transition tag in order to retain him in the offseason. Chicago and Fuller agreed to a four-year, $ 56 million deal that ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported as including “effectively $ 29 million guaranteed.”
Sure, Fuller would’ve been positioned to receive a lucrative multiyear offer a year from now, but the Bears could’ve had a little more financial flexibility this season.
There’s no question committing to Jones’ option carries some risk. If his 2018 season is anything like his first three years, then he may not be worth over $ 6 million.
The potential benefits, however, outweigh the risks. The Cowboys are better off adding another year of team control to see whether Jones can become a key contributor to the secondary.