Cowboys lose a top defender as CB Byron Jones agrees to record deal with Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins have agreed to a deal with former Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl cornerback Byron Jones making him the highest-paid player at his position, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the deal is for five years and $82.5 million with $57 million in guaranteed money and $40 million in the first two years.

The deal exceeds that of Xavien Howard, who signed a then-record extension with the Dolphins last offseason worth $76.5 million with $46 million guaranteed over five years.

The Dolphins now have the two highest-paid cornerbacks in football.

Byron Jones is reportedly now the highest-paid cornerback in football. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Byron Jones is reportedly now the highest-paid cornerback in football. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Is Jones worth the money?

Jones was the Cowboys’ top cover man last season and rated as Pro Football Focus’ No. 14 cornerback.

He draws criticism for not forcing turnovers, having recorded just two interceptions over the course of his five-year career. But opposing quarterbacks generally look in another direction as he has proven himself in coverage.

The Cowboys drafted Jones out of UConn with the No. 27 pick in the 2015 draft. He split time at safety and cornerback as a rookie before switching to safety full-time during his next two seasons. He switched back to playing cornerback in 2018.

Cowboys prioritized elsewhere

Dallas prioritized paying quarterback Dak Prescott and presumably wide receiver Amari Cooper this offseason. The Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Prescott, leaving Cooper as their top free-agent priority with the official start of free agency slated for Wednesday.

The loss of Jones will force the Cowboys to look elsewhere in free agency or in the draft to replace him.

Other Dolphins deals

It was a busy day for the Dolphins, who also reportedly agreed to a three-year, $30 million contract with ex-Washington guard Ereck Flowers, the former New York Giants first-round bust who revived his career when he moved to the interior line after struggling at left tackle.

Miami also reportedly agreed to terms with former Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy on a four-year, $51 million deal. Van Noy played with head coach Brian Flores when he was an assistant in New England.

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