Byron Jones opens up about lack of interest from Cowboys in free agency
Both quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper were set to become free agents, and keeping both would make it unlikely the Cowboys could re-sign cornerback Byron Jones.
Indeed, the Cowboys re-signed Cooper to a five-year, $100 million deal while using the exclusive franchise tag on Prescott with the hopes the two sides will reach an extension. Jones, meanwhile, became the highest-paid cornerback in football after signing a five-year deal with the Miami Dolphins.
However, Jones recently said Dallas’ lack of interest in bringing him back did not have to do with money, but rather depth at the corner spot (via Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk):
“I don’t think so,” Jones said when asked if Cooper and Prescott’s returns was the reason he didn’t. “One thing that the Dallas Cowboys do a really good job at is drafting good, young players, and they have a whole bunch of good corners on that team – no question about that – and those guys will be just fine without me. But they believe strongly in the way they draft, and they’ve shown over the years they draft some freaking ballers no matter [if it is the] first round, seventh round, guys in between. They draft and develop really good players, so I don’t think the Dak and Amari’s situation had any effect on me. I think it’s their confidence in the people that they have on the roster now and who they’re going to get in the draft hopefully.”
Perhaps the Cowboys do feel they can develop solid corners. They also may have been more comfortable letting Jones walk given he does not create turnovers (no interceptions in the last two years).
Still, it seems like the Cowboys would have wanted to retain one of the better cover corners in the game if money were not an issue.