Dallas Cowboys

Byron Jones has found a home at safety but is the emergency CB

Cowboys safety Byron Jones has found a home, but he also has a role as an emergency cornerback.
Cowboys safety Byron Jones has found a home, but he also has a role as an emergency cornerback. TNS

FRISCO The Cowboys have given Byron Jones snaps at cornerback in the nickel this week, but it is only for an emergency situation. They hope to keep Jones at free safety this season.

“Anywhere they need me, I’m honestly open to the challenge,” Jones said.

Jones’ versatility attracted the Cowboys, who made him a first-round pick in 2015. But with injuries to Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne last season, the Cowboys couldn’t afford to keep him at safety last season.

Jones started three games at cornerback in 2015, seven at safety and one in the dime package. He has made all nine starts at free safety this season.

“I did flip-flop last season,” Jones said. “I feel a lot better than I did last year, just a lot of things -- knowing the defense more, knowing and understanding what’s required of you in the NFL to be good. So I’m very comfortable.”

Jones proved better at safety than he was at corner last season, but after a year in the system, he has faith he would handle the position better this season if necessary.

“I haven’t played much corner this year yet,” Jones said. “But once I get some reps under my belt, I think I’ll be just fine.”

The Cowboys plan to keep Jones at safety, but Claiborne has missed the past two games with a groin injury. When Scandrick went out in the fourth quarter Sunday for doctors to check him for a head injury, Leon McFadden, a journeyman, got beat for a touchdown in the final minute. Thus, the Cowboys have worked on a backup plan for the future.

But Scandrick has not appeared on the injury report this week and will start against the Ravens.

 

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