Friday, May 01, 2015

UConn's Jones ready for next stage of his football career

The curiosity factor might have been at the top of the list the last time Byron Jones made his way to Dallas. There are going to feelings of anticipation and satisfaction as he returns to Dallas as the team's latest first-round draft pick.

The Cowboys had a glaring need for help in the secondary so it was hardly a surprise when they used one of their 30 non-local prospect visits on the four-year starter at UConn.

"We had a good conversation when I went down there for a visit," Jones said.

When the card was turned in and the Cowboys officially had selected Jones, the team's brain trust was absolute giddy. When owner Jerry Jones, head coach Jason Garrett and secondary coach Jerome Henderson met with the media they made it clear that Jones was one of their top targets. Jerry Jones said he was among the top 15/16 players on their board and he was thrilled to get him at No. 7.

"It was cool to have reaction, it was important to me," Byron Jones said. "It means a lot."

On draft day Jones made a point of thanking his parents when he was asked who he'd like to send his appreciation for allowing him to get to this point.

"When I come to this point there is not one person to thank, there aren't two people to thank. It was a special moment for me but it was a special moment for the (people) who supported me."

It's been a bit of a whirlwind for Jones since he joined Donald Brown as the only UConn players taken in the first round.

"A lot of the guys on the team are Dallas fans so those guys are really excited," Jones said.

Garrett made a point of emphasizing that Jones was not drafted because he had one of the most impressive showings in the history of the NFL Scouting Combine but Jones knows that when he set the combine record in the broad jump, also had the best performance in the 60-yard shuttle, finished 1/2 inch off the best mark in the vertical jump and also was among the top performers in the 20-yard shuttle that he put his name on the radar of pretty much every NFL team.

"It gave me some exposure," Jones said. "It gave people a second chance to review the film and obviously they liked what they saw."


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