Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys’ Jones not upset about contract; wants to see how hip responds

Week 1 Players To Watch: Cowboys vs. Giants

Clarence Hill gives you five players to watch as the Dallas Cowboys open the season against the New York Giants.
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Clarence Hill gives you five players to watch as the Dallas Cowboys open the season against the New York Giants.

As Jerry Jones hands out contract extensions like a baker gives away free donuts to attract new customers, Byron Jones watches and waits for his.

Or, as Jerry says, Byron waits for his ‘piece of the pie.’

Byron Jones has not been offered any of that pie yet, and he’s not prepared to be any time soon.

Ezekiel Elliott, Tank Lawrence, La’el Collins and Jaylon Smith have all signed extensions this offseason. Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper likely will as well. Byron Jones waits.

Does that bother him?

“Not at all,” Jones said. “For me, I am coming off surgery. I want to see how I look before anything. That’s what I think, and I think that’s what ownership thinks as well. Play well this year, and then I’ll get a contract.”

Per a source, Jones is not expected to be a full-time player in the season-opener against the Giants. He will play, but in a limited capacity.

Two years ago, Jones was nearly gone but the Cowboys exercised the fifth year of his original, five-year rookie contract; this season, he will make $6.2 million.

A first round pick from UConn in 2015, Jones played the best of his career last season when he was moved back to cornerback.

He didn’t have any interceptions, but he was the best cover corner on the team. He was voted the 2018 Dallas Cowboys defensive MVP by his teammates, and was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.

He had surgery on his hip back in March.

As he enters the final year of his contract, no offer is imminent.

Without an exceptional season, don’t expect the Cowboys to push to re-sign him. The Cowboys typically like to bag their prospective free agents the year before they can actually become one, and they have made no effort to do that with Byron Jones.

With Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis both younger, and developing nicely, there is a better chance that Jones will have to leave to land the contract he wants.

How does this not bother him?

“No question it’s there, but life is about timing. You can’t force something that is not meant to happen,” Jones said. “It will come when it comes. It will come at the right time when it’s supposed to come. My time is coming. Just keep your head down and play well.”

Jones, who serves as the player representative for the Dallas Cowboys with the NFL Player’s Association, readily acknowledges that this just may be his last year with the team.

“That’s always the reality. I would love to stay here,” he said, “but this is the NFL and that is the reality.”

So while everyone else gets some pie, Byron Jones will likely have to find his elsewhere.

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Mac Engel is an award-winning columnist who has extensive experience covering Fort Worth-Dallas area sports for 20 years. He has covered high schools, colleges, all four major sports teams as well as Olympic games and the world of entertainment, too. He combines dry wit with first-person reporting to complement a head of hair that is almost unfair.
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