Cowboys are releasing Jaylon Smith

USA TODAY Sports

In a surprise move, the Cowboys are releasing linebacker Jaylon Smith, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

They explored trade opportunities and still have until 4 p.m. ET Wednesday to find a trade partner, but it seems unlikely that will happen.

Smith was a great comeback story after a severe knee injury in his final game at Notre Dame. The Cowboys made Smith a second-round choice in 2016 anyway, knowing his rookie season would serve as a redshirt season as he rehabbed.

Smith played more than 92 percent of the team’s defensive snaps the past three seasons, including 98 percent last season.

The Cowboys, though, drafted linebacker Micah Parsons in the first round this spring after they gave up the most points in franchise history. Smith played fewer than 50 percent of the defensive snaps in two of four games this season.

The Cowboys owe Smith the remainder of his $7.2 million base salary this year.

Smith’s contract was guaranteed for injury for 2022. He was scheduled to make $9.2 million in base salary and count $11.8 million against the salary cap next season.

31 responses to “Cowboys are releasing Jaylon Smith

  1. This seems like a weird time to release him. Why didn’t they do that before the season started?

  2. His play really dropped off after 2018. He can’t cover and doesn’t play special teams and if he got hurt the Cowboys would be on the hook for 9 million next year. Smart move to release him now

  3. mrdelano says:
    October 5, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    This seems like a weird time to release him. Why didn’t they do that before the season started?

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    Ask yourself who is in charge and that will answer your question.

  4. Someone will sign him. The Cowboys are deep at linebacker. He can help somebody. I’m glad he at least made some money after his college injury.

  5. Now if they could release Ezekiel Elliott next to get out of another horrible contract that is directly the fault of meddling Jerry Jones.

  6. Anyone have any real insight on why they released him mid season? Timing just seems odd. I thought he was a well respected player on the roster. Unless there’s some legal issue that hasn’t been revealed I’m sure he’ll be picked up soon.

  7. Guy just seems slow and doesn’t know how to use his size. He is weird to watch. Good move

  8. As a Cowboys fan I’m torn on this. I think I’d rather release Van Der Esch. Much more injury prone. Jaylon has been super durable since the knee surgery. And I’m sure there will be several teams vying for his services.

  9. He was never the same after that knee injury.
    At Notre Dame he was all over the field . Sideline to sideline.

  10. Good job!! He was a huge liability, and his contract would have guaranteed next season if he were to get injured this year/during the offseason.

  11. They wasn’t sure at the beginning of the year how good their dep th was really going to be , so he had to go he wasn’t getting any better

  12. I really though Vander Esch would be the odd man out when they drafted Parsons.

  13. I had high hopes for Jalen and thought he would over come his injury and become a great LB.
    I noticed an odd sight during the pre game ritual against Philly that Jalen was leading
    that I thought was odd.
    As the team was circled around Jalen helmets on and jumping up and down as Jalen was leading the cheer I watched Micah Parsons with his helmet off standing still in the circle and I
    wondered if there were issues between those 2.

  14. Not sure how 154 tackles last season and 142 year b4 is considered a drop off? Hasn’t missed a game since his first start. Am I missing something? Don’t follow Dallas.

  15. It was all Notre Dame and Cowboys hype, he was never that good . Being a star on the worst defense in the NFL caught up with him

  16. Are these guys (Cowboys) crazy??? This “man” is 41 years younger than I, in incredible physical (mental?) condition and fit to play … but unmotivated ??? Is that not an indictment of the coaching staff? Who really wants to play for these guys??? Not Jaylon!!

  17. …. 159 tackles last year and he was released??? Did he forget how to tackle or is the observation regarding his lack of effort correct? Again, that would be an indictment of the coaching staff and not the player (even though there are better ways for one to get their point across) … Tomlin would not put up with this BS if it’s true … or Flores … or BB … or …. or …

  18. And if Parsons gets hurt next week, they won’t have this guy to slot right in. His salary is already a sunk cost, I’d have tried to play him a lot next few games and tried to up his trade value.

  19. Giants are already in talks with him. Love it. Immediate upgrade. Plug and play. Go GMEN!!!!

  20. jkb0162 says:
    October 5, 2021 at 8:59 pm
    His play really dropped off after 2018. He can’t cover and doesn’t play special teams and if he got hurt the Cowboys would be on the hook for 9 million next year. Smart move to release him now

    ——————————————————————————————

    “His play really dropped off since 2018”. Stats don’t lie. I am sure you were aware of this before posted right….
    2017 – Tackles (81 Comb) / 50 Solo
    2018 – Tackles (121 Comb) / 82 Solo
    2019 – Tackles (142 Comb) / 83 Solo
    2020 – Tackles (154 Comb) / 89 Solo

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