Jones finished the regular season with 67 tackles and a career-high 14 passes defended. Secondary coach Kris Richard has a track record of developing long, physical corners, and Jones became his latest success story after spending the first three seasons of his career bouncing between cornerback and safety. The 26-year-old graded out as one of the best CBs in the league according to Pro Football Focus, and he was the very definition of a shutdown corner by not allowing a single touchdown reception in coverage all year. While he doesn't put up great IDP numbers, Jones should combine with Chidobe Awuzie to give Dallas an impressive pair of athletic and impressive young secondary pieces heading into 2019.
The Cowboys picked up Jones' fifth-year option Sunday, Drew Davison of The Dallas Star-Telegram reports. This fifth-year option will keep Jones signed through the 2019 season. Jones hasn't missed a game in his first three seasons, and he has had back-to-back, 80-tackle seasons as a safety for the Cowboys. However, the 25-year-old will shift back to cornerback this season and is expected to be a starter.
Jones, who has predominantly played safety the last two seasons, could be moved to cornerback next season, Todd Archer of ESPN reports. New secondary coach Kris Richard has a track record for preferring corners with size, and Jones would fit the bill. He's also been inconsistent in his time at safety, and by the end of last season he was splitting snaps with Kavon Frazier at the position. A shift back to corner -- the position Jones spent the most time at in his rookie campaign -- wouldn't do his IDP value any favors, but it could strengthen the Cowboys' overall team defense.
Jones finished the regular season with 82 tackles (57 solo), five passes defended, a forced fumble and an interception returned for a touchdown in 16 games. He wasn't able to improve on his numbers from 2016, but the touchdown was the first of Jones' career. Jones has settled in as the top coverage safety for the Cowboys, but a lack of splash plays -- he has only two picks and zero sacks in 48 NFL games -- has limited his IDP ceiling so far in his career.
Jones recorded nine tackles in Sunday's loss to the Falcons. He's come out of the Cowboys' Week 6 bye on fire, racking up 28 tackles and an INT return for a touchdown over the last four games. The third-year safety is emerging as an intriguing IDP option, and he should be busy again next week against Carson Wentz and the Eagles.