After linebacker Anthony Hitchens injured his knee last weekend, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said that the team wouldn’t change the plan for how to break Jaylon Smith into the lineup after he missed his entire rookie season.
Jones’ father had a somewhat different answer to the question during an appearance on “Shan & RJ” on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday, however. Jerry Jones resisted calling Smith the starter and said that the team views Smith and Justin Durant as “one player” in terms of replacing Hitchens in the lineup, but added that Smith should be ready for more work than he would have gotten if Hitchens were healthy.
“I think the start word is one I’d be careful with,” Jones said. “It could be, but it definitely will cause him to have an accelerated approach to how this year starts for him. So, yes I think it’s going to be more activity, more snaps for him right off the bat.”
Smith has played 28 snaps over two preseason games, so increasing his snaps won’t be difficult even if he splits time with Durant down the middle. If he continues to impress defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, that split may wind up slanted in Smith’s favor before too much time passes.