Cowboys News App [Android]

Can LB Jaylon Smith Have A Bounce Back 2020 Season?

's career has been a rollercoaster.

Originally thought of as a top ten pick in the 2016 draft, a potentially career ending knee sent Smith crashing down draft boards. No one knew where Smith would land on draft day, and no one knew what version of Smith they'd be getting for the future if they were to draft him.

The Cowboys took that chance.

Early in the Dallas shocked the world by adding Jaylon Smith, a that would be forced to take a redshirt rookie season due to injury. It seemed crazy at the time, and looked even crazier when Smith actually returned to the field early on in 2017.

He was a shell of himself – playing just as you'd expect someone to play after missing out on football for an entire year with a traumatic leg injury. Would he ever be the same? Would he ever regain his sideline to sideline athleticism? Would he ever even result in a productive linebacker at the level?

In his third season, Jaylon Smith answered each and every critic. He and then-rookie combined to take the league by storm, creating one of the best linebacker duos in all of football. Their play and energy helped lead Dallas to a second half of the season surge, finishing 10-6 and winning the .

The hype was sky high entering 2019, but things fell flat quickly for that version of the Cowboys. And for Jaylon Smith.Jaylon Smith: Worth the Investment 2

Despite his appearance, the fanbase seemed to turn on Smith last season. Mostly due to his poorly-timed celebrations, though his play certainly added fuel to the fire at times. Smith also signed a lucrative contract prior to the which locked him up with the Cowboys through 2025, only giving fans more ammo when looking to throw their frustrations about the season toward someone.

He's far from a bum or a lost cause, of course. Smith is a highly talented and naturally gifted player, with the ability to play traditional MIKE linebacker, be used effectively as a blitzer, and drop into Tampa 2 coverage like few linebackers ever have. He's immensely gifted, and when it all comes together it looks special.

But how does he get more consistently special? Well, hopefully new will have something to say about that. Nolan, who has 25 years of defensive under his belt, will play a large role in taking Jaylon Smith from a good player to a great one.

In a world where both he and Vander Esch are healthy together once again, there's still plenty of reason to feel good about the Cowboys linebacker group.

They are young, they are talented, and they should be hungry to improve on a lackluster 2019 campaign.

As should the entirety of this roster.

Kevin Brady
Kevin Brady
Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

COntinue Reading


Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

> Join our team...

-- COWBOYS ANDROID APP --Free Dallas Cowboys News App for Android