The NY Giants have a need at cornerback, and there’s a decent chance they look to a former Dallas Cowboy to fill the void.
After starting off his career as a free safety, Byron Jones‘ play rose to a whole new level in 2018 when he was moved to cornerback. The 2015 first-round draft pick went from a decent free safety to an All-Pro in his first season playing his new position. That type of versatility – and his overall play – should have the NY Giants penciling in Jones near the top of their offseason wish list.
Jones had bounced back and forth between the two positions since his college days at Uconn, and it looks like he’s finally found where he’s most comfortable. Although he’s never been a ballhawk, picking off just two passes in five years with the Cowboys, much of that has to do with the fact that quarterbacks typically look the other way instead of targeting him.
Over the past two seasons, Jones allowed completion percentages against him of just 53% and 56% respectively. His play was a big reason why the Cowboy defense got dramatically better in 2018 and 2019, and while Jerry Jones would likely love to keep him he’s probably not going to get the chance.
A model of consistency, Byron Jones has missed just one game in his five-year NFL career. With how much the Giants have struggled with injuries over the past few seasons, signing a player that’s known for staying on the field would be very welcomed.
With Dallas in a real conundrum as Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper also set to become free agents, there doesn’t appear to be a tag available for the team to slap on the 27-year-old. Even in a year where teams are allowed to use both the transition and franchise tags, those are likely going to be reserved for Prescott and Cooper.
Spotrac pegs his contract value on the open market at 5 years/$70M ($14M per season). However, there’s a pretty solid chance that Jones blows that out of the water and gets closer to $16-17M per year.
If that’s the case, he may be out of the NY Giants’ price range. There’s a real shortage of difference makers at the cornerback position around the NFL, and there’s probably a team out there that will overpay for the elite former Cowboy as he heads into the prime of his career.
While the Giants drafted Deandre Baker at the back-end of the first round in last year’s draft to eventually become the team’s #1 option, his play during his rookie season likely has the team wondering if that won’t happen for quite some time – if at all.
He’s going to be expensive, but signing Jones would give the Big Blue defense an immediate facelift.
Hypothetical offer: 4 years/$62M ($35M guaranteed)