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Jaylon Smith Reportedly Not on the Dallas Cowboys Chopping Block

As the contract saga between the and continues to rage on, the franchise still has some interesting financial decisions to work out this . Yes, they currently have a projected $19 million in salary-cap space per, but that is yet to figure in a Dak Prescott or long-term contract.

They have options to restructure a couple of players that could help create even more cap space, but one of the ideas that's been floated around was nixed yesterday per a from the Fort Worth Star Telegram's Clarence Hill.

A source told Hill that the Dallas Cowboys have no intention of cutting Linebacker Jaylon Smith this offseason. A of the once-promising would free up $7.2 million in cap space with a post-June 1st designation.

Smith was second in the among linebackers in solo tackles per Pro , but was just 10th in the league in stops. ' “stops” metric considers the down and distance gained by the ball carrier when the was made. It's the defensive version of . If the tackler prevents the ball carrier from picking up 40% of the necessary yardage on first down, 60% of the necessary yardage to gain on second down, or 100% on third or fourth down, the player gets credit for a stop.

A tackle that allows nine yards on first down and a tackle that allows nine yards on third down but prevents the first down are weighted much differently.

Though he had just five fewer solo tackles and two fewer assisted tackles than league leader Zach Cunningham, Smith was 22 “stops” behind Cunningham, who led the NFL. made a lot of tackles in 2020, but it seemed a lot of them were already after the ball carrier gained significant yardage on the play.

It's an interesting decision by the Dallas Cowboys to put it out there that they have no intention of releasing Smith despite the decline in play since his breakout . Perhaps they feel that if they upgrade the , Jaylon Smith and his running buddy return to form.

That's certainly a possibility. However, Smith's physical limitations at this point in his career have little to do with what's happening in front of him. Unless he improves his ability to diagnose misdirection and screenplays, teams will continue to use that blueprint to attack the Cowboys and Jaylon Smith.

The Cowboys certainly have other options for creating cap space and have little answers at the linebacker position if they moved on from Smith. However, they have to continue to look to improve their linebacker situation in 2021 and beyond. Jaylon Smith needs a bounceback season in the worst way, and the Dallas Cowboys need it too.

John Williams
John Williams
Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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