Currently battling a COVID-19 outbreak on their roster, the Giants have signed Linebacker Jaylon Smith to their practice squad. The former Cowboy is expected to be active when Dallas visits New York in tomorrow's Week 15 matchup.
Ironically, Smith was released by the Cowboys during the days leading up to their first meeting with the Giants in Week 5. He signed with the Packers a couple days later and played in two games before Green Bay cut him in early November.
New York's lost two backup linebackers, Cam Brown and Oshane Ximines, to the Reserve/COVID-19 list this week. While Jaylon's been on the couch for over a month, his five-plus years of experience in Dallas could help him be functional with almost no preparation work for tomorrow's game.
Giants have signed former Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith to their practice squad leading up to the teams’ Sunday matchup at MetLife Stadium. Smith has been assigned No. 54, per the Giants’ online roster. No. 9 is claimed (punter Riley Dixon).
The Giants are expecting linebacker Jaylon Smith to play Sunday against the #Cowboys because of their Covid-depleted roster. Smith was signed to the practice squad today.
Dallas surprisingly cut Jaylon Smith after he fell down the depth chart to rookie sensation Micah Parsons and veteran free agent Keanu Neal. Despite gaining no salary cap relief from the move, the Cowboys decided they were better off without Smith and freed up more opportunities for younger prospects.
Jaylon was selected early in the 2nd Round, 34th overall, of the 2016 NFL Draft. His stock dropped after a horrific knee injury Notre Dame but the Cowboys hoped he could still be an elite prospect with time and rehab.
Smith did make a comeback, arguably deserving to make the Pro Bowl in 2018 and finally doing so the following season. But after clashing with new Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan in 2020 and then showing signs of physical degradation and mental breakdowns early this year, the Cowboys finally decided to cut him loose.
Given his recent layoff and lack of system familiarity, Jaylon Smith isn't likely to play a large role for the Giants tomorrow. But it will still be surreal to see him in a different shade of blue and playing for one of the Cowboys' NFC East rivals.