Dawand Jones fired up to face T.J. Watt in Browns starting debut

Dawand Jones is set to make his first NFL start for the Cleveland Browns and will be facing off against T.J. Watt — and he's ready for the challenge

Cleveland Browns vs Philadelphia Eagles
Cleveland Browns vs Philadelphia Eagles / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

Andrew Berry has had several hits during his tenure with the Cleveland Browns and one of the biggest (pun intended) could wind up being Dawand Jones.

A fourth-round pick out of Ohio State, Jones fell much farther in the draft than anyone expected and the Browns were thrilled to have a chance to bring him in. And unlike others who have slid in the draft — such as Perrion Winfrey — Jones came in with no character concerns. Instead, he was just a massive 6-foot-8, 374-pound offensive tackle who some thought might be too big while others were worried he would try and become a basketball player.

Since heading to Cleveland, Jones has proven that he's ready for whatever gets thrown his way. During the preseason, he played more snaps than any other Cleveland lineman, which silenced the concerns about his conditioning. He also dominated everyone he faced, including the Philadelphia Eagles first-round pick Nolan Smith.

Jones then found himself pressed into action in Week 1 when Jack Conklin was lost to a knee injury. Now, he's set to start on Monday Night Football and will be facing off with T.J. Watt. While the rookie understands this is a huge task, he's also ready to prove himself.

"Big task ahead," Jones said of Monday's matchup via Doc Louallen of the team's official website. "Can't wait. Honestly, I couldn't ask for nothing else."

This could be the first of many starts for Jones in Cleveland. The Browns did recently extend Conklin but the torn ACL puts his future in doubt.

Conklin will be 30 by this time next season and missed 10 games in 2021 and another three last year. Throw in the 16 he will miss in 2023 and that's 29 missed games over the past three seasons.

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