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Cowboys Mailbag: What to do with Byron Jones; Increased role for Jourdan Lewis?

Cowboys Mailbag: What to do with Byron Jones; Increased role for Jourdan Lewis?

It has been a constant knock against Byron Jones that he cannot create turnovers. However, he has proven to be a reliable cover corner. Does he warrant elite-level pay?

EA: Yes and no. He is a great corner that can cover most receivers in this league. There is a reason why quarterbacks don’t pass his way. The problem is that he doesn’t force turnovers either and that is what I think defines those true elite corners. You need to be a ball hawk. Despite that, the market will dictate him getting a very high salary.

Juwan: No I do not. However, we know the market sets the asking price during negotiations. Despite the lack of takeaways, most would agree Byron is at least a top-10 cornerback in the NFL. Right now, Janoris Jenkins is the 10th highest paid corner at $12.5 million/year. Unfortunately, negotiations don’t only strip down to if a player is considered “elite” or not. In addition, just by looking at the highest-paid corners in the league it’s hard to make an argument against why Byron’s asking price shouldn’t start at $13 million/year.

Cowboys have found solid contributions from both Sean Lee and Jourdan Lewis the past couple weeks. Once everyone returns from injury which of the two still deserves an increased role?

EA: This is an easy answer. Jourdan Lewis. Lewis is just one of those guys that the ball loves to gravitate towards. He makes plays when he’s on the field. He may not be a perfect player in terms of ability or size but he makes plays in the football when he’s on the field. You need that on your defense. Sean Lee is solid but that big-play ability is fading away for him. Give me Lewis.

Juwan: Jourdan Lewis for sure. I’ve never been a fan of the decision to start Anthony Brown over Jourdan Lewis, to begin with. It seems Lewis makes the best of any opportunity given to him when he’s on the field. Of the members of the secondary, he has generated the most takeaways in his three-year window. Sean Lee has looked impressive the past couple of games, but it’s also because he’s been kept relatively fresh thus far. Your two linebackers in front of him will be the center of this defense moving forward. You can’t say the same for Anthony Brown who is on a contract year.

Amari Cooper has continued to be hobbled by various nagging injuries all year. Is it cause to be concerned when looking at the other members of the receiving group? 

EA: Yes it is. Amari is your big-play threat and you need him in the field for this offense to flourish. He’s the other threat on the outside other than Zeke. Though I think he will be fine going forward since he seems to play through his issues. Here’s hoping that he gets better and can stay on the field.

Juwan: Of course. We’ve seen what this offense looks like without a legitimate number one receiver in the past. Though the talent level amongst the receiver group has been upgraded overall, I wouldn’t put my trust in them for a full 60 minutes without Amari. Mostly because we know this coaching staff exhibits a mentality of “next man up” instead of finding different ways to create plays for the other receivers. Heading down the stretch I would be mightily concerned if Amari’s injuries continue to wear him down as the season progresses. 
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