Jaylon Smith has big goals, including finishing his career with Cowboys

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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Tuesday indicated the Cowboys need “team-friendly” deals from Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper to have enough room to keep their core together.

The Cowboys have several starters whose deals expire after 2020 or 2021.

One of those is middle linebacker Jaylon Smith.

Smith will become a restricted free agent after this season, having missed his entire rookie year with the devastating knee injury that finished his Notre Dame career. The Cowboys drafted him in the second round in 2016, getting a bargain as a result of the knee injury.

“I want to be a Cowboy. I want to be a Cowboy for the rest of my life,” Smith said Wednesday, via Jon Machota of TheAthletic.com. “Understanding what they’ve done for me, taking a chance, taking a risk. Now they’re getting the return on their investment. It’s a beautiful thing to be a Dallas Cowboy.”

Smith, 24, has yet to make a Pro Bowl, but he had a case last season. He made 121 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles.

More than three years removed from the knee injury that threatened his career, Smith continues to ascend.

“This is just the beginning,” Smith said. “I’m never satisfied. Everyone is dealt their own hand, it’s about how you respond. For me, the knee is great.”

Smith’s knee was bothering him after the preseason game, but he practiced Tuesday and is expected to practice Wednesday afternoon.

“I’m great,” Smith said. “They wanted to give me a little time off to be able to rest and heal up.”

6 responses to “Jaylon Smith has big goals, including finishing his career with Cowboys

  1. I loved Smith in college. With everything he has been through you cant root against him. However if he continues to play the way he has there is no way Smith, VanderEsch, Lawrence, Elliot, Dak, and Cooper will all be together. That would be over $100 mill wrapped up in 6 guys. This whole thing is going to hinge on who is needed more, Zeke or Dak. They can then offer less to the other while using the tag to retain services.

  2. “I want to be a Cowboy. I want to be a Cowboy for the rest of my life,”
    Unless Jerry tries to low ball me too…then I’m out.

  3. Smith is to be praised on his comeback. His hard work has paid off.
    The above reader did not seem to understand that the Dallas
    front office is in cap hell.
    Prescott, Elliot and Cooper are this year. A pro bowl CB named Smith
    as well as starting offensive lineman come up.
    These players have a higher priority than Smith. In fact Vander Esch
    is the future leader of the Cowboys. I understand Smith may take
    offense, but he is arguably the second best defensive inside linebacker
    on the team. Unfortunately there is not a high demand or payment for
    inside linebackers. Look at Sean Lee’s deal and his career before his bigger
    contract. Arguably Lee was far better with his production after 3 years.
    ( Smith fans will argue that Smith was drafted and the Cowboys knew his
    initial limitations, however, the same can be said for Lee.
    Lee took a team friendly deal, Will Smith? Not sure he has the
    make up to take a team deal and play second fiddle to Vander Esch.
    I am guessing Smith will not be a Cowboy if he wants the big payday.

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