Dallas Cowboys

Rookie Byron Jones continues to impress the Cowboys

Cowboys rookie Byron Jones (31) has played a number of different positions in the secondary and likely starts at cornerback Sunday.
Cowboys rookie Byron Jones (31) has played a number of different positions in the secondary and likely starts at cornerback Sunday. AP

Byron Jones continues to show why the Cowboys made him their first-round draft pick. The Connecticut product has played a number of positions in the secondary and will start at cornerback this week if Morris Claiborne can’t go.

“It’s a heck of a tribute to the guy to [go from safety to corner] in the game, and he goes out and does it and lines up,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “That’s a hard transition. The guy has been a nickel safety, a down safety, and a corner. He just has the ability to embrace it and to hold the ship.”

Claiborne couldn’t finish Sunday’s game after injuring his right hamstring and has not practiced all week. Jones slid from safety to outside corner, which he hadn’t played since training camp, and didn’t miss a beat against the Bucs.

“It’s a familiar place for me,” Jones said Thursday. “Anytime I can just be out there and start, I’m a happy guy. Can’t complain.”

Jones said continuing to work on individual cornerback drills helped him transition back to the position even though it had been a while since he took a snap there.

“The best part about it even when I was starting at safety I was doing individuals with corner, so I still have a lot of the technique down,” Jones said. “So I kind of try to use that to my advantage. Just playing corner every day in individuals I can kind of carry it over to the game and to practice.”

Jones has played 205 of 207 snaps the past three weeks. For the season, he has played 404 snaps or 69 percent, making 36 tackles and breaking up a team-high nines passes.

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