Jaylon Smith: No. 9 is a part of me, and it’s a blessing to continue Tony Romo’s legacy

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Five years after Tony Romo’s retirement, the Cowboys will have a player wear his No. 9. His former teammate, Jaylon Smith, requested the number, and the Cowboys and Romo granted the linebacker permission.

Smith explained Tuesday he wore No. 9 every step of his career until the NFL when league rules prohibited him from a single-digit number. The league recently loosened its number rules, though, so he asked to go back to his former number.

“First and foremost, just a blessing and an honor to be able to carry on the 9 legacy,” Smith said Tuesday. “Tony Romo did an amazing job of just being elite and putting together great success for the Cowboys franchise. As you know, new players coming in always getting an opportunity to sometimes carry on legacies, and that’s the opportunity the Jones family granted me with wearing No. 9. So it’s definitely a blessing. It’s been a part of my life. I’ve been wearing No. 9 since I was 9 years old, through Pee Wee, middle school, high school, college, All-American games, you name it. No. 9 is a part of me. It’s really just a blessing to be able to continue the legacy.”

Smith was a second-round choice of the Cowboys in 2016, which turned out to be Romo’s final season in Dallas. Romo was unseated by Dak Prescott after Romo was injured in the preseason, and the quarterback played only one game before his final season before retiring.

Smith did not play as a rookie as he rehabbed from a serious knee injury.

It sounds as if Smith has yet to personally talk with Romo about wearing Romo’s number. Six other players wore the number before Romo.

“Actually, me and Tony, we’re working on conversations right now,” Smith said. “Nothing but love. He’s a busy guy. But it’s just an amazing feeling. . . . It’s definitely a blessing to be able to carry on his number. He’s a big brother and definitely thank him.”

Smith previously wore No. 54, made famous by Hall of Famer Randy White, and will have to buy the remaining stock of his jerseys, per league rules, to make the switch. Todd Archer of ESPN reports it’s a “mid-six-figure” price.

“It’s about value over cost, and definitely a blessing being able to play for the Dallas Cowboys,” Smith said. “We’re working out the terms the right way. But really I’m just thankful to be in the No. 9 and have an opportunity to turn this thing around this year. We’re all focused. We’re locked in. And we know what we need to accomplish.”

13 responses to “Jaylon Smith: No. 9 is a part of me, and it’s a blessing to continue Tony Romo’s legacy

  1. Just stop showboating when you manage to stop a runner after an 8 yard gain.

  2. He would only be continuing Romo’s legacy if he was playing quarterback.
    And besides, even Craig Morton accomplished more than Romo, and Morton is an afterthought when it comes to Cowboy QB’s.

  3. Dallas Cowboys fans have to admit as good of a guy as Tony Romo is….(like Philip Rivers)would throw those soul crushing and dagger to the heart interceptions late in the 4th qtr in big games that would absolutely kill his teams chances and momentum of coming back all throughout his career.

  4. Why is it every professional athlete uses the words “definitely”, “obvious” and “blessed” more than any other words? It’s almost like they are coached to use them…hmm………

  5. If his legacy is mediocrity, then he represents the Cowboy’s very well. The guy’s career can be summed up in one stat: 1-2 career playoff record. Nothing else matters.

  6. This dude just basically lit fire to $500,000 with this number change. It’s doubtful he’ll make a worse decision in his life. Just beyond stupid.

  7. He should be concentrating on just competing for a starting job with Parsons, Cox and Neal coming in, If LVE is and can remain healthy then Smith could easily be the odd man out, and please stop the celebrating after making tackles past the line of scrimmage

  8. He just spent $100,000+ to wear a number for probably one year. After the Parsons and Cox picks, and with Quinn supposedly playing Keanu Neal at LB, Jaylon Smith is probably going to be a cap casualty after the 2021 season. It’s a bad business decision.

  9. This guy just lost $100k+ on jerseys lmao
    Literally the dumbest guy in the NFL.

    Unless he plays like Prime Ray Lewis this season, this is his last season in Dallas.

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