Byron Jones loses snaps to rookie Xavier Woods

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The good news for Byron Jones is the league didn’t fine him for an unnecessary roughness penalty he had against the Chargers last week. The bad news for Jones is the former first-round pick is seeing his play time diminish.

The Cowboys made changes in their secondary for Thursday’s game against Washington. They benched cornerback Anthony Brown, replacing him with rookie Chidobe Awuzie, who had three tackles and three pass breakups and didn’t allow a reception against him. Brown’s only playing time on defense Thursday came when he filled in for the injured Orlando Scandrick. Brown played the final eight defensive snaps and made an interception, a tackle and a pass breakup.

The Cowboys also gave rookie Xavier Woods more playing time, alternating him with Jones at free safety. Woods played 46 of 60 snaps and Jones 45. Woods had six tackles, including one for loss, and Jones had four tackles.

“He brought some physicality,” secondary coach Joe Baker said of Frazier, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I think everybody in the stadium felt it. He just really lit some guys up out there, and that does become contagious. It’s one of the things that our defense is built on is physicality. So he was good.”

The Cowboys will have an offseason decision to make on Jones: Do they pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, guaranteeing him roughly $9 million?

The Cowboys openly acknowledge that Jones struggles in run support, and he has only two career interceptions, so the answer appears to be no.

“Frazier is a legitimate, natural, what we call a ‘down safety,'” owner Jerry Jones said on his radio show on 105.3 The Fan. “I was really impressed with how he took advantage of his play time and punished physically the Redskins. We need that. That’s an important part of things to create that physicalness that you can get from that secondary. Got to be reminded he’s not a linebacker. He’s a quasi-linebacker when he’s down like that, a quasi-linebacker/safety.

“So let’s start with we need that in the defense, and I think that was impressive out there, the toll, his physicalness. Of course, Byron is a freak — in a positive way — athlete, and we need him playing center field.”

8 responses to “Byron Jones loses snaps to rookie Xavier Woods

  1. It’s really dumb to think that Dallas would sour on Jones due to his tackling, given that he is exactly the same in that area as he was projected to be coming out of college. Considering that he could easily be worked in at CB over the off-season, and brings a lot of coverage flexibility, it’s FAR from a given that Dallas would not pick up his option.

  2. This is no surprise. After showing some promise last year Jones has
    clearly taken more than a step back. He absolutely does not want to
    tackle a player face up …he gives up 5 yards to tackle because he
    doesn’t want to hit the ball carrier.
    In pass coverage he makes mental error after mental error. The bottom line
    is that he has regressed.
    As a whole the defensive backfield has been a mess all year. It seems as if
    The front office took a shot at moving on from some veterans and starting over
    with Jones and Heath and rookies to man the defensive secondary.
    This was a bad decision. Perhaps now that that have no choice the Cowboys
    must succeed or fail with this DB crew …but it has been painful.
    As to Jones …think about it ..the Cowboys took him late in the first round ..
    the Giants took Landon Collins about 6- 8 picks later….ouch!!
    Collins is a beast ..and Jones plays the beauty ..he just won’t hit and he
    is lost most of the time in coverage.

  3. Kavon Frazier alternated playing time with Jones, not Xavier Woods. Also, Jones should not be re-signed at $9 million/year.

  4. He was a pretty big reach anyway. He’s smart, but he’s just not athletic enough to be a good NFL corner.

  5. cardiovascularendurance says:
    December 2, 2017 at 10:22 am
    He was a pretty big reach anyway. He’s smart, but he’s just not athletic enough to be a good NFL corner.
    Got it completely backwards dude. He’s more than athletic enough but just not smart enough to play in the NFL.

  6. Maybe they try him out at corner again, considering their current situation in the secondary? I’m a big Scandrick fan, but they get much more when they can play inside.

  7. Byron has been a dud since Dallas moved him to safety. He’s decent at covering tight ends but that’s it. He’s had three years as almost a full time player. He’s had his chance to prove himself. Dallas typically holds on to there mistakes too long. Let the rooks play as well as Frazier. And off topic where is Gathers and could we please get Switzer on the field?

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