Cowboys announce release of Jaylon Smith

USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys announced their decision to cut veteran linebacker Jaylon Smith.

According to the official team website, the Cowboys are releasing Smith after exploring trade possibilities.

“The move doesn’t save the Cowboys anything on this year’s salary cap since his salary was guaranteed but potentially saves them from a guaranteed salary in 2022 if he were injured,” Nick Eatman wrote on the team website in explaining the move.

The Cowboys owe Smith the remainder of his $7.2 million base salary this year. His contract was guaranteed for injury for 2022 when he was scheduled to make $9.2 million in base salary and count $11.8 million against the salary cap.

Smith signed a five-year, $64 million extension in August 2019.

Even though he led the team in tackles last season, Smith faced criticism and questions about his future after the Cowboys allowed the most points in franchise history. He kept his spot on the roster out of training camp despite the additions of veteran Keanu Neal and rookie draft choices Micah Parsons and Jabril Cox.

But his role was reduced as Smith played 56 percent of the defensive snaps, including 40 percent or fewer in two of four games.

38 responses to “Cowboys announce release of Jaylon Smith

  1. Prime example of why I never fault a player for skipping a bowl game. He was never the same after the injury in the Fiesta Bowl.

  2. Defense has played well so far, he’s not been on the field almost half the time. They drafted 2 LB’s this year, signed a free agent LB, and still have LVE. They’ve moved on. Jaylon’s return after his college injury is inspirational, he’s a stand up person, wish him well. He will find a home, but think his best days are behind him.

  3. Why would any athlete want to play in the NFL when they get tossed out with the garbage?

  4. Wow. I know he was living up to what they thought, but considering how LBs go down so often, they’d keep him simply for depth. Crazy

  5. Was never the same after his injury in the bowl game. Don’t risk it kids. No one will care or even remember the meaningless game. Smith would have been a 1st rounder with a lot more guaranteed money in the bank. When your good at something you don’t do it for free.

  6. Dude paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to wear #9 for the Cowboys for four games! I bet he’s regretting that at this point.

  7. It must be difficult to watch your team draft a player who plays the same position that you have started the last two years only to be cut before the fifth game,,,football is not a sport, it’s a cruel business

  8. Boy, wouldn’t it be nice for your employer to fire you and giving you a guaranteed salary of $7.2 million to do it? Sign me up!!!

  9. A chess move. When a new player out performs a vet with higher paid salary, it’s easy to just cut ties. Makes it easy to absorb the hit cause Jaylon’s money will be off the books way long before its time to even think about paying Parsons. Imagine Jaylon gets hurt on a play that doesn’t mean anything on his limited reps, then he gets a nice bonus. No thanks. Cut that insurance policy immediately. Great chess move.

  10. He was an absolute monster in college and his first few years in the league … Injury, coaching, system??? que pasa PFT?

    criticism and questions???? spare me Texas … you WILL miss him, he’s still young … Grier, Flores, you on the phone yet????

  11. I hope the Eagles pick him up. They desperately need better linebackers.

  12. This confirms that buying all those jerseys to change his number was most likely the worst move of the offseason. Giggle.

  13. A second round pick released after just 5 years should qualify as a wasted draft pick. Looking back could have had Chris Jones or Derrick Henry. Can Jerry say ouch!

  14. “A second round pick released after just 5 years should qualify as a wasted draft pick. Looking back could have had Chris Jones or Derrick Henry. Can Jerry say ouch!”

    Not a Cowboys fan but this take is bad. He was a 3 year starter, a pro bowler, and played well enough to earned a 2nd contract – that’s not bad. Every pick isn’t a superstar and playing the hindsight game is a waste of time.

    Also Cowboys had an amazing 2016 Draft.

  15. scoreatwill says:
    October 6, 2021 at 8:15 am
    A second round pick released after just 5 years should qualify as a wasted draft pick. Looking back could have had Chris Jones or Derrick Henry. Can Jerry say ouch!

    Yeah I know what you mean. I was hoping they would draft Christian Hackenberg.

  16. “Lead the league in tackles six yards past the LOS”

    At least he made the tackle. We will take that in Washington at this point.

  17. kc would be better off giving this guy a chance….than josh…. not raggng on Josh, but kcs d need more help than the O

  18. As a huge Cowboys fan I can say about time. This saves them guaranteeing his salary next year should he get injured. He is for the most part a liability on the field. Tackle numbers mean little in this instance. Watching the games you can see that he is not an impact player. Best wishes.. hope someone signs him as he has offset language in the contract. Please pay a lot more than the vets minimum too. I’d love to see him sign in the NFC East. I know he’d be motivated, but he will further limit any team he goes to.

  19. There were lots of players who are accountable for last year’s defensive failure. You could even say the lack of offensive production was at fault as well.

    Tough to see one guy take the brunt, but we have to assume economics are playing the primary role here…

  20. Once they drafted the Penn State LB, it was apparent either Smith or Vander Esch would be gone. I just thought it would be Vander Esch.

  21. Dumb move. Middle of the season, no financial gain. It’s not like they are going to create space to sign a good person in a position of need.

    All they did was weaken their squad and one injury away from being in trouble at LB.

    He still played 56 percent of snaps, so someone is going to have to take those snaps, and if they were used to being fresh because of split duty, they might not play as well when tasked full time.

  22. Vander Esch is on the last year of his rookie deal so not much salary there and no future guarantees, unlike Jaylon. Jabrill Cox will take Vander’s place next year.

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