Not long after the Dallas Cowboys selected Byron Jones out of UConn with the 27th pick of the draft, head coach Jason Garrett declared that the team would like to give him looks both at corner and safety. He played both in college and the Cowboys said they believed he could play both in the NFL--there were even comparisons to the Patriots’ Devin McCourty, who made a Pro Bowl as a corner before moving to safety, where he made the Pro Bowl again.
Sure enough, in organized team activities this week, Jones saw some time at safety.
“Most recently in college he played corner, so we started him there. But he’s shown that he can do some other things as well,” Garrett told DallasCowboys.com. “He has experience. This isn’t a projection based on his physical ability. He played safety in college. He’s done both of these things. So I don’t think he looks uncomfortable anywhere we put him. But again, we’re trying to settle him in and find what the right spot is for him as we go forward.”
Before becoming a corner in his junior season with the Huskies, Jones spent two years playing free safety.
“You’ve got to be a leader on the defense,” Jones said. “You’ve got to understand where your coverage is, where your help is, and you’ve got to understand some linebacker fits as well. Sometimes you’re down in the box and you need to know if you’re in an A gap or B gap. So it’s an entire understanding of the defense, not just one side.”