FRISCO, Texas — Contemplating his comeback from a severe knee harm that just about ended his NFL profession earlier than it may actually start, Jaylon Smith was one of many Dallas Cowboys‘ greatest tales. On the finish, the manufacturing didn’t match the story.
The Cowboys’ decision to release Smith will be considered as a shock due to what he was — a 100-plus-tackle-a-year linebacker with a Professional Bowl on his résumé and a contract that averaged $11.4 million a yr — not what he’s now, which is a backup linebacker who struggles in protection and doesn’t run in addition to he used to.
The timing of the discharge might sound complicated. Why did the Cowboys wait 4 video games into the 2021 season to do that? Why not wait just a little longer? In response to sources, they’d some commerce discussions with groups a few deal for Smith and had been keen to eat an excellent portion of his $7.2 million base wage, however nothing ever actually got here near occurring.
Plus, Smith’s $9.2 million base wage in 2022 was assured for harm. The Cowboys didn’t wish to take the monetary threat, so that they had been keen to take the complete cap hit of releasing him now. Subsequent yr, Smith will value $6.8 million in opposition to the cap.
With how effectively rookie linebacker/defensive finish Micah Parsons is taking part in, the return of linebacker Keanu Neal from the reserve/COVID-19 record and the great phrases defensive coordinator Dan Quinn had relating to linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, there merely wasn’t sufficient room for Smith, who didn’t assistance on particular groups.
In former Cowboys coach Invoice Parcells’ vernacular, Smith turned a progress stopper — that means Smith was in the best way of different gamers who progress past him. The Cowboys like what Jabril Cox, their 2021 fourth-round decide, did within the preseason and consider he will be extra of a defensive contributor because the season goes alongside.
Smith’s return from the ligament tears and nerve harm he suffered in his closing sport at Notre Dame deserves to be lauded. Some groups took him off their draft board due to the harm. The Cowboys took the chance within the second spherical.
After he sat out his rookie season, he performed in 68 straight video games. He put within the work that made him a Professional Bowl decide in 2019. The Cowboys signed him to an enormous contract extension earlier than that season, guaranteeing him $35.5 million.
On the news convention asserting the deal, Smith talked about his model and enterprise alternatives. He invested in minority-owned companies by his entrepreneurial program. However there was some inside consternation that he was centered extra on his enterprise affairs than his on-field work. He paid “mid six figures” to change his jersey number from No. 54 to No. 9 when the NFL laxed the jersey quantity guidelines, one thing that may have value him nothing had he waited till 2022.
However the Cowboys’ resolution to launch Smith was about soccer.
The story that started off with such promise — a Notre Dame legend overcoming hardships with America’s Staff — merely didn’t match the hype.
https://www.espn.com/weblog/dallas/cowboys/submit/_/id/4774203/dallas-cowboys-decision-to-cut-jaylon-smith-about-not-stopping-progress | Dallas Cowboys’ resolution to chop Jaylon Smith about not stopping progress – Dallas Cowboys Weblog