Cowboys pick up fifth-year option for DB Byron Jones

ByTodd Archer ESPN logo
Monday, April 23, 2018

The Dallas Cowboys have picked up the fifth-year option for 2019 on Byron Jones' contract, according to multiple sources.

The move actually happened last Friday, ending speculation on what the Cowboys planned to do with the 2015 first-round pick. The option is worth $6.29 million and is guaranteed only for injury.

Because Jones played the majority of his snaps at safety in 2016-17, the Cowboys will catch save some money against the cap with him moving back to cornerback in 2018. The Cowboys had until May 2 to pick up the option.

Jones has not missed a game in his first three seasons, starting 43 of 48 games. After spending most of his rookie year at cornerback, the Cowboys shifted Jones to safety full-time in 2017. He has intercepted two passes the last two seasons, returning one for a touchdown.

The Cowboys wanted to move Jones (6-0, 205) back to cornerback given how new passing game coordinator Kris Richard worked with bigger cornerbacks in his time with the Seattle Seahawks.

"I'm always open to making position changes," Jones said recently. "As long as I'm in the best position to succeed and if (Richard) believes that the best position is corner, then I'm down."

Since the new collective bargaining agreement was put in place, the Cowboys have picked up the options on all but one of their first-round picks.

Pro Bowl offensive linemen Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick had the options on their contracts exercised but signed long-term extensions with the Cowboys prior to their fourth season with the club. Zack Martin, their first rounder in 2014, is currently set to play on the fifth-year option but the club hopes to sign him to a long-term extension. Only Morris Claiborne, a 2012 first-round pick, did not have his option picked up but he re-signed with the Cowboys in 2016 on a one-year deal before leaving via free agency in 2017.