We all know who the top story of training camp is this season.
Former Notre Dame linebacker and second round pick in 2016, Jaylon Smith, will steal all headlines away from other players anytime he puts on a helmet.
And, to be honest, he should.
After missing all of his rookie season there is hope that Jaylon Smith will be available at some point this year. If healthy, and in his college form, Smith may become the best young linebacker in the entire league.
Yes, he is that good.
His first practice with the Dallas Cowboys is over, and with it, came some interesting videos of Smith completing drills.
Mandatory Jaylon Smith footage: pic.twitter.com/A39QMWu1cV
— Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) July 24, 2017
Here we see him changing direction, and looking pretty good doing so. One of the main concerns when coming back from a knee injury is that ability to stop on a dime, so it's good to see Smith trust himself while doing it.
Lots of eyes on Jaylon Smith today. pic.twitter.com/GD7yKGcsoV
— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) July 24, 2017
Jaylon Smith may not look great, but the fact that he is even on the field practicing at all is a sign of progress. And at this point in the process, with the kind of devastating damage Smith suffered, we have to grab on and feel pretty good about any type of progress.
Plus, all things considered, he was moving around well yesterday. And he came away with an interception!
On instructions from @JC1053 : Jaylon Smith records 1st int in linebacker drill. Note the date. Remember the moment.
— Brad Sham (@Boys_Vox) July 25, 2017
And then there was this ringing endorsement from a fellow Cowboys blogger over at BloggingTheBoys.com:
If there is something Jaylon Smith still can't do, nobody at camp saw it today.
— OCC44 (@OCC44) July 24, 2017
Here's the GIF of Jaylon Smith at practice today (via @jonmachota) pic.twitter.com/Ocd2vry7ia
— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) July 24, 2017
This last video isn't so great, however, as Smith runs to the ball with a noticeable limp. Still, he showed enough during the first day of camp to have us all very excited for what is to come.
The main thing we must do is preach patience. Jaylon may not be his best self by week one, but maybe towards the end of the season he will be back to 100 percent.
If not, maybe next year he will be. There is no clear timetable for this type of thing, and we don't know for sure if he will ever be the same.
But if anyone is going to come back from this, it will be Jaylon Smith.