The Cowboys still don’t know for certain what to expect from Jaylon Smith this season. But they are encouraged he can return to the player he one was because of the person he is.
“It’s been consistent and it’s been remarkably good,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said via David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. “That started all the way back when we first met him, back at the combine and through the draft process. That’s one of the reasons you take a chance on someone like this, with the injury he had.
“We all knew the severity of it. We do think we had good information coming from Dr. [Dan] Cooper. But I think the bet was made because of the kind of guy that he is. Not only has he not disappointed, I think he’s exceeded all expectations in terms of the kind of person he is. He hasn’t had a bad minute, let alone a bad day.”
The Cowboys gambled Smith could return to the level than made him a top-10 prospect before his left knee injury Jan. 1, 2016, in Notre Dame’s bowl game. They drafted him in the second round in 2016, knowing last year would serve as a redshirt season for Smith.
“Working through this, working back from an injury like this can be challenging,” Garrett said. “It can be lonely. But each and every day he has a great spirit, a contagious spirit that is so positive for the people around him and it makes everyone excited.”
Smith still wears a brace on his left foot after damage to the peroneal nerve in his leg created drop foot.