Jaylon Smith’s latest electromyogram (EMG) test showed improvement in the nerve, and though it still may be months before the linebacker’s peroneal nerve fully regenerates, it was good news.
Smith is practicing with his teammates, something he wasn’t able to do this time last year.
“It feels great,” Smith said, via Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News. “Last year I was kind of a spectator just in the beginning stages of rehab. Now I’m in the mix and playing football.
“The plan is to work hard and every day. It varies as far as the scheduling. I’m just doing everything that they allow me to do.”
Smith, who will practice every other day during camp, has vowed to play in the season opener. His return to action has not been questioned as much as how good he will play if he has to wear a brace for drop foot. But Cowboys owner Jerry Jones compared Smith to a “No. 1 draft pick.”
Smith was rated as a top-10 pick for the 2016 draft before his devastating left knee injury during Notre Dame’s bowl game Jan. 1, 2016. The Cowboys used a second-round pick on Smith, who spent last season rehabbing.
“He was at the top of the board and would have been at the top of the board this year,” Jones said. “The caveat is what we all wonder. Can he play like he had the career playing at that particular time? So that’s what we’re here to see. To me, he’s just like looking at a No. 1 draft pick out here coming out on the field for the first time.
“We all know his circumstances, and what he needs to overcome. It looks really good, all testing, all feeling, really looks as good as I could have hoped that it would look at the time. We’ll see.”