Byron Jones working toward being a play-making safety

Byron Jones has impressed early on in Cowboys camp with some nice plays on the ball. Video by Drew Davison.
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Byron Jones has impressed early on in Cowboys camp with some nice plays on the ball. Video by Drew Davison.

Dallas Cowboys

Byron Jones gaining more notice with takeaways

July 30, 2017 10:20 PM

OXNARD, Calif.

Jason Garrett’s new form of discipline?


Three players were sent to timeout during Sunday’s practice for fighting — Rico Gathers, Kyle Wilber and Noah Brown. Wide receiver Dez Bryant had an animated exchange with Wilber in the middle of it, too, but stressed that the Cowboys had another productive practice.

Here were five takeaways from it:

1. Safety Byron Jones continues to shine early on in camp. Jones had a leaping interception a day after he couldn’t get two feet down on another possible pick. Jones made the play on a red-zone throw from Dak Prescott to Dez Bryant. Improving his ball skills is something Jones focused on this off-season and it’s been seen so far. Said Jones, who has one interception in his first two years: “For this defense, we have to thrive on takeaways. We have to give the ball back to the offense.”

2. Cole Beasley might have made the highlight play of the day in the one-on-one portion. Beasley made an impressive move(s) on Duke Thomas for an easy TD from Prescott. That play fired up Prescott and Dez Bryant. Beasley also ran right by Sammy Seamster in one-on-one drills.

3. Jaylon Smith practiced in pads for a second straight day. It marked the first time he has done that and he appeared to get through OK. It’s another step forward for Smith, who is working his way back from a major knee injury sustained on Jan. 1, 2016. Smith continues to impress, as Garrett said: “His mindset and mentality are rare.”

4. Dez Bryant looked to be in midseason form during the end-zone drills. He and Prescott hooked up for a nice back-shoulder over Anthony Brown. Bryant reiterated that he is feeling good early on in camp and that his rapport with Prescott is still “building, building, building, building, building, building, building.”

5. Rookie defensive end Taco Charlton had little success going against All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith during pass-rush drills. It looked like, well, a rookie going against the best left tackle in the game. But Charlton worked with the first-team on Sunday with David Irving nursing an ankle injury and DeMarcus Lawrence being limited early on after off-season back surgery.

The offense had an impressive day on Sunday. Video by Drew Davison.


Quote of the day

“I really do admire it. I am in awe of it in a lot of ways — he’s always been consistent. You know there’s never been a point where, like, ‘Man, he really struggled and disappeared for a couple of years.’ He’s always been consistent and really solid and, you know, to be where he’s at in his career and still playing at a high level, I’ve got a lot of respect for him.” — TE Jason Witten on Adrian Beltre getting 3,000 hits

Injury report

DT Maliek Collins (hip flexor): Day to day.

OL Chaz Green (shoulder): Out a couple weeks.

WR Ryan Switzer (hamstring): Expected to be ready after HOF game.

CB Jourdan Lewis (hamstring): Day to day.

DE David Irving (ankle): Day to day.

LB Justin Durant (Non-football injury): Day to day.

Cowboys schedule


Aug. 3 vs. Arizona (NBC)*, 7 p.m.

Aug. 12 at Los Angeles Rams (NFL Network), 8 p.m.

Aug. 19 vs. Indianapolis (NFL Network), 6 p.m.

Aug. 26 vs. Oakland, 7 p.m.

Aug. 31 at Houston, 7 p.m.

* Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio