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Jaylon Smith Voted Cowboys’ Ed Block Courage Award Winner

Sean Martin

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Jaylon Smith Voted Cowboys' Ed Block Courage Award Winner 1

On January 1st, 2016, then Notre Dame star linebacker Jaylon Smith played in what many thought would be his last ever football game - suffering a gruesome knee injury in a bowl game against Ezekiel Elliott's Ohio State Buckeyes. Now teammates with Elliott, Jaylon appeared in his first game with the Dallas Cowboys on September 10th of this year, never looking back to defy all odds and lead this team in tackles through 14 games.

For his resilience, courage, and uplifting play, Jaylon Smith was awarded the Ed Block Courage Award by his Cowboys' teammates yesterday.

David Helman on Twitter

Here's a cool story. The Cowboys have voted Jaylon Smith as their 2017 Ed Block Courage Award winner. Very well deserved, given that Smith rebounded from one of the most gruesome injuries in recent memory to lead the team in tackles, with 96 this season.

Smith will get the opportunity to represent the team that not only took a chance on him with the 34th overall pick in the 2016 Draft, but an organization that has fully supported him through his entire rehabilitation process at the Ed Block Courage Awards in February.

At times, the Cowboys' support of Jaylon Smith felt almost "fake". The fact that he was working - admirably hard - to return to the field certainly wasn't, but believing what the team was selling on Smith being a cornerstone to the franchise after effectively red-shirting his rookie season was understandably difficult.

Jaylon Smith on Twitter

I'm honored and humbled to be selected by my teammates and coaches for such a prestigious award. #ClearEyeView https://t.co/s5qjbrfrOP

While he may not be that franchise player just yet, Jaylon Smith is on track to accomplish everything he set out to as a top prospect. If healthy entering the draft, the price the Cowboys would have had to pay for Smith was the fourth overall pick they instead used on Ezekiel Elliott.

Jaylon Smith Voted Cowboys' Ed Block Courage Award Winner

Should the Cowboys miss the playoffs this season, which is beyond their control, there will still be plenty of positives to take from a season that could have gone differently for many reasons.

Jaylon Smith is both of these things. The Cowboys have been ineffective (to say the least) defensively without their leader in Sean Lee, but Dallas can feel much better about their outlook at LB with Smith in their plans at the MIKE position for the foreseeable future.

Regardless the size of the impact Jaylon Smith made on the field for the Cowboys this season, the fact that he is a healthy football player once again is enough for his teammates and coaches to feel rewarded for their ongoing support.

This is why Smith was chosen as America's Team's nominee for the Ed Block Courage Award for 2017.

Tell us what you think about "Jaylon Smith Voted Cowboys’ Ed Block Courage Award Winner" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Russ_Te

    December 24, 2017 at 2:16 am

    Smith has certainly earned it. Imagine how hard is it to be stuck in a 1.5 year rehab program while teammates get to go out and play. Rico Gathers is in the throes of 2 years out, although it was practice squad last year and concussion precautions this year.

    But if you build a dynasty, it’s always with a franchise QB and also players down the draft who turn into pro-bowlers. That means you roll dice on project players like Gathers – even Dak – and take chances on gifted players with injury like Smith, or sometimes with trouble following them from college (Gregory).

    If you take average, safe players down the draft you will not build a dynasty. Where available you take your chances on a talented player who fell, and the Cowboys subscribe to that. I was surprised how fast Smith got his speed back this year. There was a play around Week 5 maybe, where the opponent had a long gain down the field and Smith was flying in pursuit.That made me believe a full recovery is in progress. And he might be great as a spy LB against a fast QB like Russell Wilson, or the way Kaepernick was.

    The Seahawks are getting no betting respect after being routed by the Rams, and are 5 point underdogs tomorrow. I think they may be ready to fold up the season if Dallas gets a big first half lead. You have to believe the Cowboys frame of mind is totally opposite, they get Elliott back and I think will get it going early / 31-17 final.

    Btw Sean, if the Cowboys make the playoffs it might be time to get Gregory out of mothballs… ;^)

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Cowboys Offseason: Landon Collins Cleaned Out Locker, Set to be FA

John Williams

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Cowboys Headlines - #DALvsNYG: Dealing With Giants Safety Landon Collins

It's no secret that the Dallas Cowboys are heading into the 2019 offseason looking to upgrade at the safety position on a defense that finished inside the top 10 in 2018. With much of the focus on Earl Thomas, New York Giants Safety Landon Collins has become the center of attention in the last couple of days.

Per a report by Josina Anderson, Collins cleaned out his locker on Wednesday as he gets ready to go into free agency for the first time.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

I'm told that Giants S Landon Collins cleaned out his locker today at the team facility and said his goodbyes to teammates, coaches and trainers. It doesn't seem like Collins expects to be a Giant for much longer, per sources.

After Paul Schwartz attempted to assert that there was no claim to the report...

Paul Schwartz on Twitter

Attention those who care about the New York Giants: Landon Collins HAS NOT cleaned out his locker at the team facility. Repeat: Landon Collins HAS NOT cleaned out his locker at the team facility. Go about your business and have a nice day.

And Landon Collins had this to say...

LANDON COLLINS on Twitter

@NYPost_Schwartz The stuff in that locker that I have left I do not need💯

If cleaning out a locker is any kind of evidence, then Collins is prepared to hit the market when free agency opens on March 13th. He joins a loaded safety group that includes Thomas, Houston Texans Safety Tyrann Mathieu, Los Angeles Rams Safety LaMarcus Joyner, Glover Quin of the Detroit Lions, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix formerly of the Green Bay Packers, but most recently of the Washington Redskins, and several others who could find new homes this offseason.

The Cowboys are very familiar with Landon Collins, as they've seen him nearly twice a year over the last four years. The three time Pro Bowler was one of the best players on the Giants defense. They would line him up in the box and at time use him to cover Cole Beasley.

Collins ranked first in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus in run stop percentage at 7.2%. Meaning on running snaps, he made a tackle that rendered the running play ineffective 7.2% of the time.For further reference, Jeff Heath made a run stop on 4.2% of his run plays, which was 15th in the NFL among safeties.

The only positions to have more of an impact on the running game were linebackers and the defensive line. Even if you include linebackers, his run stop percentage was 31st in the NFL. Leighton Vander Esch led the Dallas Cowboys with a run stop percentage of 11.3%, which was third among linebackers. Collins number nearly matched the run stop percentage of Jaylon Smith at 7.6%.

Add Collins to a defense that stops the run as well as the Dallas Cowboys did last season and you take your team to another level against the run.

Landon Collins will probably get the most money this offseason. He's only 25 and has had success in the NFL. Many teams will be reaching out to Collins when free agency opens and the Dallas Cowboys should certainly be one of those teams. Collins would be an excellent addition to the Dallas Cowboys defense and would allow Xavier Woods to stay in his role as the free safety.

We're just under three weeks away from the start of NFL free agency and the drama will only get bigger as the Cowboys look to add to their team.



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Report: Free Agent DL David Irving Not in Dallas Cowboys’ 2019 Plans

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

The Dallas Cowboys and troubled Defensive Lineman David Irving appear to be at an impasse. According to a report from David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the team has "no intention" of trying to re-sign Irving and will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.

Irving started the 2018 season with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He only appeared in two games after that, registering one sack and four tackles.

David Moore on Twitter

Source: Cowboys have no intention of keeping DT David Irving at this time https://t.co/vqMNZty6Aq via @sportsdaydfw

Despite reports of David's ongoing issues with an ankle injury, Dallas never placed him on injured reserve. Then came the reports that Irving was missing practices and team meetings while dealing with personal issues related to the custody of his daughter.

The team stayed pretty mum on the subject of Irving's status throughout the year, falling back on the ankle injury when pushed. But after months, it became clear that either David, the team, or both parties were disinterested in his return to football.

The Cowboys had high hopes after 2017, when Irving posted seven sacks in just eight games. They placed a second-round tender on him last offseason as a restricted free agent and were surely ready to give him a long-term deal if he'd built on that success.

But David's issues, physical or otherwise, have clearly done the opposite.

Dallas is known for working with troubled players, as we've recently seen with Randy Gregory. That they're closing the book on Irving suggests there's an issue with his desire towards football.

It's a sad loss for both. David's potential is enormous, as evidenced by his productivity when he actually does play. But he appears more likely to hit the Commissioner's exempt list in 2019 than the football field, given the reports of multiple failed drug tests over the last year.

Hopefully David Irving can turn things around one day and capitalize on his talent. But if it ever happens, it appears that it won't be with the Dallas Cowboys.



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BREAKING: WR Terrance Williams Gets Dropped by Dallas Cowboys

Jess Haynie

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Takeaway Tuesday: What We Learned From Cowboys Loss To Packers
AP Photo/Ron Jenkins

The Dallas Cowboys have ended their six-year relationship with Wide Receiver Terrance Williams. According to multiple sources, they have declined a team option on Williams' contract and he will now be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

The move will reportedly save the Cowboys $2.25 million in salary space this year.

Williams was the team's third-round pick in 2013 and started 68 of the 83 games he played in. He developed into a solid number-two receiver by the end of his rookie deal in 2016 and was given a new four-year contract that offseason.

David Moore on Twitter

Terrance Williams career w/ the Cowboys is done. Sources say the club has declined the WR's option for 2019, making him a free agent. The move is no surprise. He caught just 2 passes for 18 yards last season. His departure frees up $2.25 million on the cap.

After another decent year in 2017, things took a bad turn for Terrance last season. It started with an offseason arrest for public intoxication that eventually led to a three-game suspension, although Williams served that while on injured reserve.

The Cowboys already appeared to be giving Williams' spot away when they made several offseason acquisitions at WR; Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin all were brought in even before Terrance's arrest.

While Williams did start in two of Dallas' first three games in 2018, he only had three passes his thrown his way. The team finally put him on IR due to ongoing complications with a surgically-repaired foot.

While it didn't end well, Terrance Williams' time in Dallas was ultimately a solid return for a third-round pick. He made a few big plays and was a proficient run-blocker, good enough to start in almost 75% of the team's games since he was drafted.

The Cowboys now hope that another third-round pick, Michael Gallup in 2018, will do bigger and better things.



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