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WATCH: LB Jaylon Smith Moving Without Brace

Kevin Brady

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Jaylon Smith Voted Cowboys' Ed Block Courage Award Winner 1

When the Dallas Cowboys shocked the world and selected linebacker Jaylon Smith early in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, most could not picture a day where he would be going through drills without a brace on his injured knee.

Well, as has been previously reported, that day is now.

New footage has emerged of Jaylon Smith moving laterally without the brace, posted to Youtube by "Cowboys Fan Club." And to say he looks smooth doing so would be an understatement.

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The 50 second video clip above shows Jaylon Smith looking rather explosive laterally, something we feared he may never be able to do again. When at his best Smith was able to utilize his athleticism and range, and if he can get those attributes all the way back the Cowboys linebacker group will be in very good shape.

Combining him with the athletic Leighton Vander Esch and consistent Sean Lee would be a solid trio of linebackers in 2018. Of course, there is a lot of time between now and the opening game against the Carolina Panthers, however, but it's okay to be excited about his progress.

Let's hope Jaylon Smith continues to progress as the offseason moves along and we inch closer to the 2018 season.


Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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9 Comments
  • Travis Diggs

    I was still a little salty about losing Hitchens but seeing this video and the drafting of LVE, im starting to feel whole lot better

  • Sed Johnson

    Looking good 54 but the thing that we need to see him taking blows from NFL linemen. I have the same questions about 55 but for entirely different reasons.

  • John McClain

    Looking good

  • tjones122

    i love this kid and his work ethic he and LVE are the future of this defense…keep eating Jaylon im rooting for you

  • Mr. Jaguar

    Imho, the Cowboys defense of 2018, and beyond , will be like the Cowboys defense of the glory days of the 70’s and 90’s. The Cowboys defense, will no longer be the Cowboys defense of the last 17 seasons, where doing close games in the balance , it breaks, and ends up losing games, it should have won, last season-rams, packers, seahawks, games. With Richard, eventually, taking over, the next 6 seasons, should be exciting for Cowboys nation.

  • E Deplorabus Unum

    This kid is a hero and a legend as a man even if he only plays 1st downs the rest of his career. What mental strength….

  • EverybodyTalks

    Truly see his blessings as he has recovered.
    Clear Eye View – Definitely.
    A few fellow Cowboy friends are still not giving him props.
    They are saying, “He isn’t in pads…I’ll reserve judgement until he is in pads”…smh
    You can see his lateral movement. Much improved.
    You can see him putting weight on his foot without hesitation. Impressive.
    Hopefully, Sean Lee is tutoring both Lee and Jaylon on the intricacies of NFL play. Tape, tape and more tape.
    This is Jaylon’s 3rd year under contract, but last year he was basically a rookie.
    Does anyone see a sophomore slump? I don’t.
    I see a LB corp that potentially could be very scary!

    • Tommy Davis

      I have more concerns about Vander Esch than Smith, I’ve watched extensive film of Vander Esch and he is stiff and overruns a lot of tackles. He was a no star recruit out of high school and only started 1 year at Boise State. Taco Charlton had 1 decent year at Michigan and he was a wasted #1 pick and I don’t beleive the Cowboys did their due diligence in scouting these two guys. Some folks say Vander Esch is athletic because he has decent speed, athletic he is not, he does not possess the nimbleness to adjust his body, he is a straight line runner and that’s why he misses so many tackles attempting to arm tackle. I would hope that the Cowboys go after Kendricks to be safe.

      • EverybodyTalks

        Just saw a Twitter video by Bryan Broaddus, where he had checked with a few folks and there was no news of any interest in acquiring Kendricks so far in Dallas

Player News

Maliek Collins Playing Excellent for Cowboys Defense

John Williams

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Maliek Collins

For the Dallas Cowboys on the interior, a lot of the news consistently surround the availability of Defensive Tackle David Irving, but Maliek Collins is playing excellent right now. While I'm willing to be very patient with Irving because of the elite talent he brings, Maliek Collins should continue to start for the Dallas Cowboys at 3-technique defensive tackle.

Collins has been a player that the Cowboys have bounced between the nose tackle and the 3T position with the hopes of getting their best players on the field, and because of the lack of a consistent presence at the 1-technique or nose tackle position. Well, with Antwaun Woods taking control at the 1T, Collins has been able to play at the position where he's at his best. The 3-tech.

He hasn't put huge numbers in the sack column this season, but that doesn't mean he's been absent from being the disruptive player he's been through his first two and a half seasons.

During the Dallas Cowboys five game winning streak, Maliek Collins has led the Dallas Cowboys defensive tackles in total pressures with 13, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF combines sacks, quarterback hits, and hurries into their "pressures." Collins hasn't recorded a sack during the winning streak, but he has four quarterback hits and nine hurries. He's tied with Tyrone Crawford for third in total pressures behind DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory over the last five weeks.

Over the last five weeks, Collins leads the defensive tackles in solo tackles with five and is tied with Crawford and Antwaun Woods with three run stops on defense, according to Pro Football Focus. Collins has also has two tackles for loss in the last five games and recovered Tyrone Crawford's force fumble on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Collins had six sacks in his rookie season when he played primarily as the 3T, which allowed him to see more one-on-one blocks against opposing interior offensive linemen. Especially with the way the rest of the defensive line is playing.

With the Cowboys on the road to face the Indianapolis Colts this week, Collins is going to have a tough matchup with a very good Colts offensive line, in particular, rookie Quentin Nelson. Collins ability to get pressure on Andrew Luck on the interior is a huge key for the Dallas Cowboys this week. We know that Gregory and Lawrence will get their pressures, but if Andrew Luck is able to step up into a clean pocket, it will make for a much more challenging game for the Cowboys secondary.

Collins has proved to be up to any task over the last five weeks and if he's able to keep playing at such a high level, he'll make the Cowboys coaching staff, and the rest of Cowboys Nation forget about using other defensive tackles. For the Cowboys to make a deep push in the playoffs, they'll need Collins to be a big time player for them moving forward.


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Amari Cooper Wins 2nd NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award of 2018

Jess Haynie

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Amari Cooper

For the second time in just three weeks, Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

Cooper scored three touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime, to lead the Cowboys to victory last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has 10 catches for 217 yards, which led all NFL receivers last week.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

After his record-setting performance during week 14, @AmariCooper9 is the FIRST #DallasCowboys to win NFC Player of the Week twice in a season! → https://t.co/kvBDIeOgBd #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote

As the official website stated, Cooper is the first Cowboy to win the award twice in the same year. He's also the first Cowboy to be named Offensive Player of the Week since Ezekiel Elliott in 2016.

Before this year, Elliott was the only Dallas player to win the Offensive award in three seasons. Cooper has now done it twice in three weeks.

Since being traded to the Cowboys, Amari Cooper has amassed 40 catches for 642 yards and six touchdowns.

His wasted time in Oakland may keep Cooper out of the Pro Bowl this year, but he's already become a fan favorite in Cowboys Nation. Congratulations to Amari for another well-deserved award!


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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Sean Martin

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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle David Irving, once a key member of the team's defense, will not make his return after all against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. For the second straight week, Irving was reportedly trending towards suiting up before being ruled out. The Cowboys haven't missed his unique presence for 13 weeks (playing against the Jaguars and Redskins), including through an ongoing four game win streak that began with a win against these Eagles on the road.

In that road win, veteran Tyrone Crawford recorded a sack and three tackles, while Antwaun Woods added two for a Dallas defense that held Philadelphia to 23 first downs and 71 rushing yards. The Eagles managed to cross the Cowboys' 30-yard line just four times.

There are many scenarios in which the Cowboys could have cut ties with Irving for not being worth the off-field trouble he's caused - beginning the season with a four game suspension. The absolute best case scenario is what they've realized amidst this turnaround, with other defensive linemen taking advantage of the opportunity left behind by Irving.

While it can still be true that Irving would make more splash plays than the likes of Crawford, Woods, Maliek Collins, and Caraun Reid, this defensive tackle group deserves praise for their ability to step in. Pass rush ability is one thing teams can't have enough of, and the Cowboys are missing some with Irving, finding ways to win thanks to the other traits these defenders bring to the table.

Cowboys Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard may effectively be the team's defensive coordinator with an emphasis on the back seven, but DC Rod Marinelli's impact is still felt - particularly up front. Regardless of where they're lined up and deployed, the Cowboys front four is expected to be disruptive on every snap, something this scrappy unit excels at.

Prepared once again to play on the edge this season, Crawford is thriving at his original position of 3T-DT. Crawford has two sacks, nine total tackles, and three other hits on the quarterback over the past four weeks. Leading by example with a relentless spirit on every play, Crawford has meant just as much to the Cowboys defensive ends as Irving could.

In a short period of time, the Cowboys have gone from building up Irving thanks to his transcendent ability to make those around him better to simply -- and importantly -- being better across the defense.

Led by DeMarcus Lawrence as their premier rusher, the Cowboys defensive line is a lot for opposing offenses to contain. The "Hot Boyz" work up front has allowed Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch to play fast and make plays all over the field.

Maliek Collins, battling back from his second broken foot in three years, is proving again he's a patented Marinelli guy. Collins' play speaks for itself when considering if the Nebraska product is best as a 3T or 1T tackle. Wherever he's asked to play, Collins creates penetration with an explosive first step and can finish at the quarterback with an array of power rush moves.

At 7-5 and fighting for their playoff lives, the Cowboys are done making excuses on the 2018 season. Their strides on defense speak for themselves, and with a group that keeps Dallas in every game they'll play, the door remains open for David Irving to earn snaps again when ready.

The Cowboys don't know any better than their play without Irving right now, and as winners of four straight, it's worth questioning if we'll see Irving over the last three weeks of the regular season.

Tell us what you think about "David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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