Dallas Cowboys

Rookie Byron Jones already keeping up with the Wittens

Byron Jones (31) goes against tight end Gavin Escobar (89) during a drill Wednesday at the Cowboys’ organized team activities.
Byron Jones (31) goes against tight end Gavin Escobar (89) during a drill Wednesday at the Cowboys’ organized team activities. Star-Telegram

Jason Witten didn’t want Byron Jones to know he made a good play. But back in the locker room, Witten had praise for a play the first-round choice made on him in a two-minute drill.

“That was a good play,” Witten said. “He made a good play. I think anything you can get in a competitive situation. He is coming on there. He is playing the slot. He does a good job.”

On a third-and-one play in a two-minute drill Wednesday, Tony Romo saw Witten running free downfield. But Jones made up ground and batted the ball away at the last second.

 “That’s fun. It’s real fun,” Jones said. “It’s a two-minute situation. We’re trying to do anything to keep the offense from scoring. So anything I can do to contribute is great.”

But Witten didn’t pat the rookie on the head at the time.

“He said it was holding,” Jones said. “I’ve got to believe him. He’s been doing this for 13 years. I was probably holding him, but that’s part of the deal. Competing every play.”

Officials on the field didn’t throw a flag, but Jones was smart enough not to point that out to the 10-time Pro Bowler.

“I’m going to shut my mouth when it comes to him,” Jones said. “I know better than that.”

The rookie has shown flashes, getting the Cowboys excited that he is going to quickly validate their selection of him. But Jones still has a lot to learn.

“He’s going to face receivers big like [Witten],” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “That’s one thing we liked about him is he’s got that size and jumping ability and good range. It’s just day by day. Don’t get too excited or too low especially this time of year. Get him to camp ready to play.”

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @NFLCharean

 

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