On Thursday, the Cowboys played their first game of the 2017 season, defeating the Cardinals in the Hall of Fame game. This kicked off a weekend of celebration for Jerry Jones, who was inducted in epic fashion to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night. Now, it is back to business for the Cowboys as they prepare for their second of five preseason games – visiting the Rams on Saturday with LB Jaylon Smith potentially making his Dallas Cowboys debut.
The Cowboys were back to business yesterday from Oxnard, California after remaining in Canton for Jerry’s enshrinement, and Stephen Jones wasted no time dropping the biggest team news of the summer regarding Jaylon Smith.
“…he could play, it’s just getting him in that football shape and doing things the right way.” – Stephen Jones from Cowboys camp on Monday
The stance from the Cowboys, and particularly the Jones’ family since he was selected with the 34th overall pick out of Notre Dame in 2016, has always been that Jaylon Smith is the Jason Garrett patented “right kind of guy” to one-day become a cornerstone piece to this team’s defense.
Not only did Stephen reinforce this immense belief in Jaylon, but he did so while finally adding the all-important designation that #54 is ready to help this team on the field Monday.
“I think Jaylon’s going to be around here the next 10 years. We don’t want to do anything that’s not taking care of Jaylon. So we got to protect Jaylon, at the end of the day, from Jaylon.”
Before Jaylon Smith can be with the Cowboys for a decade, he needed to be here for a rookie season that was unsurprisingly red shirted due to the leg injury he suffered in his final collegiate game at Notre Dame against Ezekiel Elliott and Ohio State. The prototypical NFL middle linebacker will now enter a second season that appears on track for him to greatly help along a defense with many new faces on all three levels.
Protecting Jaylon from Jaylon has not really been a concern for Dallas, as he’s been a participant in five of the seven fully padded practices the Cowboys have held so far. Looking better by the day, “Jaylon watch” has been in full effect.
Along this lengthy road towards a full recovery, Smith has taken to Twitter consistently to share his gratefulness for the opportunity America’s Team presented him.
The Sky's the Limit~
Simple tweets like these have been put under the microscope by Cowboys Nation in a search for clarity that the team has never truly provided until today regarding Jaylon Smith and his NFL debut. Any signs of optimism were always met with some retracted statement telling us to collectively pump the brakes on Smith being a real game changer in 2017.
With the Cowboys just four days away from returning to the stadium that began their magical 2016 run – the same LA Coliseum that put Dak Prescott under the lights for the first time – the time is now for the Cowboys to go full speed ahead with Jaylon Smith as their potential starting MIKE linebacker come week one.
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 4, 2017
If Saturday’s game against the Rams is Jaylon Smith’s Cowboys’ debut, it is going to be a long-awaited moment for so many involved – and a sign of relief for Jerry Jones who took the risk on Smith.
There’s a reason they gave that man a gold jacket and permanent home in Canton, Ohio this weekend, and it is because of Jerry’s return on risks similar to that of Jaylon Smith’s throughout his career.