Jaylon Smith doesn’t regret fateful decision to play in bowl game

AP

The trend toward key NFL prospects skipping non-playoff bowl games gained a boost from the serious knee injury suffered by former Notre Dame (and current Cowboys) linebacker Jaylon Smith. But Smith says he wouldn’t have passed on playing in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State if he had an example like his own to rely on.

“Those freak types of accidents, injuries, they happen,” Smith told Ed Werder and Matt Mosley of the Doomsday Podcast. “But you don’t go in the game thinking, ‘Oh man I’m going to get hurt.’ That was my decision, and I love it. And I wouldn’t change it. If I knew that I was going to get hurt and wasn’t going to be a top-five pick again, I would have literally played in that game again because of my teammates and how much Notre Dame means to me.”

It’s one thing for Smith to say he’d assume the risk again. Smith is saying he’d embrace the consequence, too.

“We’re playing in the Fiesta Bowl with three, four, five top-10 picks in that game,” Smith said. “It was a really highly anticipated game. My brother [former Cowboys running back Rod Smith] played at Ohio State, and Ohio State was my second choice. I always wanted to get a chance to play.”

Smith nevertheless respects those who decide not to play in bowl games that can’t lead to a championship.

“Salute to those guys,” Smith said. “My experience, what I liked about people making their decisions, whether they’re playing the game or not, it’s your own decision. You have to make that decision for you. So for me, I made the decision to play in that game, and I don’t regret it at all. That’s the beauty of any decision I’ve made, it’s been my decision. If I had the decision again, I would have played in that game.”

Some will say that Smith wouldn’t say anything else, because there’s nothing at this point that he can do to change the outcome. Regardless, the point is that these business decisions need to be made. Regardless of whether the player chooses to play or not to play, something that previously wasn’t even a consideration has now become an occasion for players to balance their future interests against their current circumstances.

25 responses to “Jaylon Smith doesn’t regret fateful decision to play in bowl game

  1. I’m so glad to hear him say this. The “but what if you get hurt?” crowd makes me sick to my stomach.

  2. Why did you say “former” Cowboys RB Rod Smith? He’s still on the team. Maybe not much longer since Keith Smith (no relation) is ahead of him for the starting FB job, but Rod was used a bit on special teams last year.

  3. Wow good reply. I agree with him completely. Its a freak accident that can happen at any time on our off the field. Look at Sidney Jones this year it can happen just warming up.

  4. As a close friend of the organization you want a guy who thinks about his team and not just himself. Have a look at the John Wooden leadership pyramid. I am sure Jaylon has

  5. of course he doesn’t regret it…he’s pleased to be a cowboy and if he didn’t get hurt he wouldn’t have been one. and he loves the organization for given him a shot when many others didn’t/wouldnt

  6. Current trend: “I’m not playing in my team’s bowl game to avoid injury.”
    Next trend: “I’ll skip my team’s Conf Champ game to avoid injury.”
    Later trend: “I’ll skip the season to avoid injury since I will go top 10.”

  7. maxkingpin says:
    Current trend: “I’m not playing in my team’s bowl game to avoid injury.”
    Next trend: “I’ll skip my team’s Conf Champ game to avoid injury.”
    Later trend: “I’ll skip the season to avoid injury since I will go top 10.”
    ——–
    Plus if you notices they all start with “I”. Id rather my team take the captains. The “We” or “US” players.

  8. If you are locked in as a top 10 pick, you’re crazy to play unless it’s for a chance to win a championship. Who cares about dumb bowl games like the Sun Bowl? Other than, of course, the corporate sponsors and schools who make millions off these meaningless games while the players get zilch.

  9. Love this kids response, but find a lot of the responses on here to be pretty biased

    Think about this:

    Jaylon Smith is guaranteed $4.4M for 4 years – that is still a nice payday…. BUT

    Mike Williams (the #7 overall Draft Pick) is guaranteed $19.7M for 4 years… Jaylon Smith was projected to go in Top 5 so that could have been even higher.

    I’m all about a team game and that players should not feel entitled, but $15.3M down the drain would make me consider the opportunity cost…

    Easy for anyone who is bored at work – commenting on this page to say that it’s soft to not play in the bowl game, much different to be the one to actually do it.

  10. It isn’t always about the almighty $$. I know it’s hard to believe in your lawyer mind, but actually some people make decision NOT based on monetary rewards.

  11. The rise of people bailing out on their teams and the arrival of millenials in the NFL is not coincidental. The Kaepernick Generation is here, and they aren’t changing the guard so much as replacing it with a bunch of navel gazing Teletubbies.

  12. “Regardless, the point is that these business decisions need to be made.”
    ——————–

    So according to PFT, it’s okay to screw your teammates for the almighty dollar.

    You know, the teammates that helped you achieve top 5 status by clearing running lanes, set up blocks, etc. Or how about the contractual commitment you signed with the scholarship to play for the school? I guess honouring that commitment is too much for PFT.

  13. Cash in $19M as a top 5 pick or play in the weedwacker bowl, which has no consequence in your conference standings or national ranking and risk injury? Easy for all of the commenters to say honor your commitment, but the game is meaningless and is just a cash grab for the universities. If it’s a playoff game play, because your season is still alive. If it’s meaningless, don’t knock a kid for making a smart business decision.

  14. I know it may be hard to believe folks, but there are actually people who love to do what they are blessed to do.. yes we all need money for the nice things and neccesities but it’s not like he has to take out loans to live. He still going to get a nice penny and do what he loves to do.. kudos to him

  15. weepingjebus says:
    May 30, 2017 5:02 PM

    The rise of people bailing out on their teams and the arrival of millenials in the NFL is not coincidental. The Kaepernick Generation is here, and they aren’t changing the guard so much as replacing it with a bunch of navel gazing Teletubbies.

    ————————————————————-

    Take your meds and go to bed grandpa. As always society evolves and you living relics shake your fists in the air with your death rattles.

  16. Jaylon Smith, I’m an Eagles fan and I hate the Cowgirls. But you sir are to be saluted. 99.999% of the NCAA players would love to play in the Fiesta Bowl. Hell, any bowl. It’s an extension of your season. It gets you extra recognition. You’re playing the game we all love on a big stage. That’s why every football team in America strive to get 6 wins and an invitation. This is, of course, just my opinion.

  17. Deciding when to play and when to quit on your teammates is a slippery slope. And players get hurt in practice, injuries are an inevitable part of playing football. The college player who quits on his team when he was 100% healthy is also the guy to quit on his pro team when he isn’t 100%.

    Have to laugh at the concept all bowl games are meaningless. Stanford’s reaction after beating North Carolina in the Sun Bowl said otherwise, and the chances of injury are actually quite small.

  18. That’s why every football team in America strive to get 6 wins and an invitation.

    —————-
    thats always been iggles goal

  19. First of all, NFL rules require players to be out of High School for three years before they’re eligible for the draft regardless of ability. And you take a kid like Smith, who’s a consensus Top 5 pick and he’s 60 minutes from a life changing $20M+ guaranteed contract and you can actually say he should feel obligated to play for his team ? Seriously?

    That game was meaningless and I’m a Buckeye fan. Bowl games have been a stupid money grab for guys in terrible blazers for years. No sense at all in putting yourself at risk one last time for an exhibition.

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