Byron Jones admitted he had a rough game Sunday against the Dolphins. He gave up two deep pass plays, a 47-yarder caught by Jarvis Landry late in the second quarter that set up a Miami touchdown and a 29-yard TD caught by Kenny Stills.
Jones then found himself limping off the field with an ankle injury on the second to last play of the game.
But the Cowboys’ first-round pick insisted the ankle was fine on Monday, and is looking forward to using Sunday’s game as a learning experience going forward. In particular, he blamed poor footwork at the start of the TD play as something he must improve on.
“I gave up two big plays. That’s something as a DB you can’t do,” Jones said. “I was reminded by how small the margin of error out there at cornerback is.
“Two bad plays can really change the whole game.”
Jones made his first career start at cornerback in place of Morris Claiborne, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury. He has spent most of the season playing safety, but the Cowboys like his versatility in the secondary and he was the best option with Claiborne down.
“[Miami] made some plays. He’s right there to make the plays, but good throw and good catch,” coach Jason Garrett said. “That’s the nature of this league. When you’re out there by yourself against good players with quarterbacks who can deliver the ball, sometimes those things can happen.
“I think he’s learning. I think he’s getting better. He certainly plays with the right spirit. We like him a lot.”
Outside of those two plays, though, Jones has had a solid rookie season. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli even praised him earlier this season as one of the best rookies he’s coached in his career.
For the season, Jones has a team-leading nine passes defended, a tackle for loss and 39 tackles.