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Jaylon Smith’s Leadership Needed More Than Ever With Injured LB Group

With back healthy from his neck procedure, the were hoping to have himself along with and all healthy for the . However, after only one week of the season, the Cowboys group has been crush by injures. Lee is out until mid-October after having sports hernia surgery, and Leighton Vander Esch is currently on with a broken collarbone that he suffered in Week 1.

Now, the lone available member of the aforementioned trio, Smith, is left to hold the unit together until his injured counterparts return. He didn't get off to the best start in Week 1 vs the . Smith only posted a 29.5 grade according to Pro , one of the worst for all starting linebackers.

However, a familiar responsibility just may spark a bounce-back performance for Smith. With Vander Esch sidelined, Smith will once again take over play-calling duties for the , something he did for the previous two years when he played the middle linebacker spot, and he seems more than ready to resume that responsibility.

“I've been calling plays for the past two years,” Smith said Thursday via Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News. “So, it's really my comfort zone, just happy to lead the defense. We've got to do whatever it takes to win.”

Smith will remain at and veteran , now in his third season with the team, will start in place of the injured Vander Esch. With a huge game coming up against the today, Smith recognizes that establishing a rhythm and chemistry as a unit is key.

“For one, I love all those guys and really praying for their health to come back stronger,” Smith said. “A linebacker corps, it's all about chemistry, especially me being out there with another linebacker. We have to get our rhythm together. … Having to play with a couple other guys takes a little time to get our rhythm, so that's what me and Joe Thomas are working on this week. Just dialing in, locking in everything.”

Smith and the Cowboys defense will definitely have to be locked in going against a high-powered like the Falcons. Last week vs the , they had three receivers catch nine passes for over 100 yards. Also, they have in their backfield who can always be a dangerous weapon when healthy.

Does Smith revive himself from Week 1 and get this Cowboys defense back on track? We'll be watching.


Matthew Lenix
Matthew Lenix
I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.

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