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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
  • Russ_Te

    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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Breaking: Cowboys Acquire Amari Cooper for 2019 1st Round Pick

John Williams

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Oakland Raiders' Wide Receiver Amari Cooper On the Trade Block

The Dallas Cowboys are recovering from a disappointing loss to the Washington Redskins, but that hasn't stopped them from being aggressive to try to salvage a 3-4 season. It looks like the Dallas Cowboys are going all-in on Dak Prescott for 2018 and 2019 to see if they can return him to his 2016 form. It's being reported by Josina Anderson that the Dallas Cowboys are set to acquire former first round pick and Oakland Raiders Wide Receiver Amari Cooper.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

Breaking: A source tells me that WR Amari Cooper will be traded to the Dallas #Cowboys.

Amari Cooper has been the subject of a lot of trade discussion over the last week and a half and it looks like he's going to be coming to Dallas to help solidify their wide receiver group. Adam Schefter from ESPN is reporting that the compensation the Dallas Cowboys are sending for Cooper is a first round pick.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

Cowboys traded a first-round pick to Raiders for WR Amari Cooper, per source.

 

That's way more than I was wanting to spend to get him in here, but Cooper is just 24 years old. He's playing in his fourth NFL season and has averaged  After posting 1,000 yard seasons in each of his first two years in the NFL, Cooper fell back down to earth in 2017 with only 680 yards on 48 catches. He did have seven touchdowns last year and did that in only 14 games.

In 2018, he's averaging 4.4 receptions per game for 56 yards and has one touchdown on the season. On a Oakland Raiders offense that is struggling, Cooper is second in targets, third in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. It's bold move for a player that has had his fair share of drops in his career, though he seems to have gotten better in that area.

Despite a pretty good game from the wide receiver trio of Cole Beasley, Michael Gallup, and Allen Hurns, it looks like the Dallas Cowboys are dissatisfied. Over the last few years teams like the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles have taken chances on acquiring players via trade and it's worked out well for them. The Dallas Cowboys are certainly taking a big risk, but Amari Cooper has the talent worth taking a chance on.

With the Cowboys heading into the bye week and in need of an offensive spark, if they were going to try to salvage their season, they needed to make a move. It can be debated that the price was too high, but Cooper instantly makes this offense better.



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Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases Ahead of Trade Deadline

Sean Martin

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Dallas Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases

This week, Stephen Jones discussed the difficulties of making a trade, saying "it just seems like in the NFL trades are hard to make, to make it all come together for two teams".

The two teams that could be lining up to change that are of course Jones' Cowboys as well as John Gruden's Oakland Raiders. Yet another Raiders player has been in the headlines as a trade target, 24-year old Wide Receiver Amari Cooper.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

WR-needy Cowboys doing their due diligence on Raiders' WR Amari Cooper: https://t.co/pE2wmrzCXu

Playing at the Washington Redskins on Sunday, the Cowboys will have yet another reshuffled lineup at wide receiver, playing without Tavon Austin. Their biggest offseason addition to this unit was Allen Hurns, and he's been underwhelming with just eight catches.

Thus the Cowboys are reportedly doing their "due diligence" on Cooper, sensing the need for a mid-season acquisition at WR for the right price. The Cowboys ability to potentially find that price in a deal advantageous to them, given how the Raiders handled the departure of Khalil Mack in a trade to this Chicago Bears, is what makes this story relevant.

A lot has been said about Cooper since his name emerged as the latest player potentially out of the Bay Area. Whether you believe he's still an impact receiver with the potential to regain his Pro Bowl form of 2015 and 2016 or one that "doesn't love football," as some have been inclined to say, the former fourth overall pick represents an investment into the WR position that the Cowboys have not made in some time.

In those Pro Bowl seasons, Cooper averaged over 77 catches a season while putting up over 1,000 yards in both. The Raiders have used this to justify their reported asking price of a first-round pick for Cooper, something the Cowboys are not alone in their reluctance to give.

With Cooper, the Raiders are holding onto their last bit of relevancy. A reeling 1-5 football team that needs to maximize their return on trading Cooper, the Colts and Redskins are also following in the Cowboys footsteps by preparing as much as they can on the player.

Cooper has caught 22 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown through six games this season.

For as desperate as the Raiders are to jump-start their organization, the Cowboys should be just as desperate to add a threat like Cooper to their passing attack. Unlike the Raiders, they're in the hunt for a division title, something much harder to put a price on when it comes to the Jones' finalizing any deal for Cooper in the coming days.

The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, October 30th, at 3 PM Central Time. The Cowboys will be two days into their bye week, not in action again after Sunday until November 5th.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases Ahead of Trade Deadline" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys WR Tavon Austin Skipping Surgery, May Return in 2018

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys WR Tavon Austin Skipping Surgery, May Return in 2018

A groin injury sustained last week against Jacksonville won't send Tavon Austin to injured reserve, at least for now. The Dallas Cowboys receiver has elected to forego surgery at this time, giving him a chance to return to action in 2018.

There was concern that Austin could land on IR initially following the Jaguars game, but he sought a second opinion this week. It appears that this new information was enough for Tavon and the Cowboys to decide that surgery can wait.

Rob Phillips on Twitter

Sounds like WR Tavon Austin will not have surgery at this time after getting a second opinion on his groin injury. He could miss a few weeks, however. #cowboyswire

Austin should miss this Sunday's game with the Washington Redskins. He has been the team's punt returner this season and a useful tool on offense, playing mostly receiver but also lining up the backfield at times.

Despite his limited opportunities, Tavon is tied with Cole Beasley for the team lead with two receiving touchdowns in 2018.

How long Austin will remain out is unknown at this time. After the Washington game, Dallas will have their bye week and then host the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football.

Both of these are games that the Cowboys, feeling good after a blowout victory over Jacksonville, should be able to win without Austin. But they would certainly like him back for the Week 10 road game with the Philadelphia Eagles.

In Tavon's absence, Cole Beasley will likely field punts. We may see more of Deonte Thompson in the speed routes that Austin ran on offense, though Dallas could also finally see what recently returned Brice Butler has to offer.

With an expiring contract this year, Tavon will likely want to get back soon and trying to improve his stock for the 2019 offseason. Hopefully, he can still have a positive impact on his value and the Cowboys season in the weeks ahead.



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