Demonstrates Excellence on The Field
On the field, Byron Jones is a competitive, consistent, and courageous player that young players aim to emulate. He embodies all the qualities that the Miami Dolphins look for in a football player. He takes meticulous notes, gives all-out effort in practice, and all of his preparation shows up in games.
Byron joined the Dolphins as an unrestricted free agent from Dallas in 2020. He was a five-year starter (2015-19) for the Cowboys, earning second-team All-Pro honors and a Pro Bowl selection in 2018. Jones has played in 84 career games with 78 starts, totaling 334 tackles (256 solo), two interceptions, 45 passes defensed and three forced fumbles.
In 2019, his peers ranked him the 97th best player in the NFL on the NFL Network's Top 100 list. He originally entered the NFL as a first-round pick (27th overall) by Dallas in the 2015 NFL draft.
Demonstrates Dedication and Commitment to Community Efforts this Year
Byron has been dedicated, committed and passionate about serving his new community since joining the Miami Dolphins in March 2020. The Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee is a committee of players formed and lead by the players to make a measurable difference in the areas of education, civic engagement, economic empowerment, and community impact. Byron Jones is the leader of the Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee, committing every Tuesday player day off to conference calls, community events, and casting the vision for the future of the committee. Outside of the player day off, Byron devotes many hours each week to ensure the committee is abreast of all new information and provokes unique thoughts that turn into actions. Major initiatives by the Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee this season, led by Byron, have included: partnering with the Miami Dolphins Foundation and NFL Foundation to donate $300,000 to Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County Public Schools to help purchase wireless hotspots and digital technology to help underserved students for distance learning. Regarding civic engagement, Byron has partnered with the Miami Dolphins Foundation and NFL Foundation to donate $100,000 to the FRRC. FRRC is a grassroots, membership organization run by returning citizens (formerly convicted persons) who are dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions and creating a more comprehensive and humane reentry system that will enhance successful reentry, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety. Byron has also worked to promote voter registration and voting for the 2020 election. Byron was also featured on NFL Instagram Live to discuss his community involvement and dedication to social justice efforts with NFL's Kimmi Chex.
Demonstrates Dedication and Commitment to Community Efforts in Years Past
Byron has always been a servant leader, and this was especially seen when he hosted his football camp in his community. Until high school, Byron played football within New Britain, Connecticut for the New Britain Raiders Police Athletic League team. In the offseason, Byron has returned home to host a free camp for his youth team. The camp, typically held in June, although not in 2020 due to COVID-19, is free for youth ages 7 – 16.
"Some of the most important lessons I've learned on the field were teamwork, being responsible, being dependable for your teammates, all that starts here. And that is what we're trying to do at this camp. We're trying to get the kids exposed to the message I have and get exposed to football and empower ways to what they do in the community," Byron has stated. He is destined to ensure that his hometown community, NFL community, and society is in a better place because of his relentless commitment to service.
Demonstrates Consistency in Positive Character and Models a Lifestyle of Giving Back
Byron Jones is a tremendous teammate who embodies what any team in the National Football League should be looking for. In the Miami Dolphins locker room and around the Club's facility, Byron can be found talking to younger players about football, discussing how to be a great professional, how to have an impact off the field, and how to be a great all-around man in society. As he navigates building a strong locker room, he uses that momentum to lead the charge in the community and social justice efforts as well. Byron is intentional in every aspect of his life, which is how he has a transformational impact on hundreds of individuals. The Miami Dolphins are proud to nominate Byron Jones as their Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.