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How Will Jaylon Smith Impact Cowboys’ Defense In 2017?

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Jaylon Smith Will Ignite The Dallas Defense In 2017

In the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cowboys once again took a gamble with their second round pick. Due to a severe injury, Notre Dame linebacker, Jaylon Smith fell. Many teams were skeptical as to if Smith would ever make a full recovery and be able to play at 100 percent. The Cowboys felt a little more confidence as their team doctor performed Smith’s surgery following his injury. With the 2017 season in sight, the Cowboys should be excited about Jaylon Smith.

If it had not been for his injury, Jaylon Smith likely would have been a top five pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He had a monster season his junior year as he recorded 115 total tackles, nine of which were for a loss. He is extremely athletic and possesses elite traits for his position. As a linebacker, he helps the secondary and the defensive line with his play. His ability to cover receivers in the passing game and play stout rush defense is makes him stand out. If he can make a solid recovery, he will dramatically change the Cowboys‘ defense.

Jaylon Smith is already posting videos of himself cutting, jumping, and sprinting. He looks great and pretty close to 100 percent. Obviously nothing compares to game speed and game action. He will have to continue to practice as he regains his strength. After some experience in some contact drills and full speed scrimmages, we will really be able to accurately evaluate Smith’s progress.

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If he progresses well and is able to play and start in 2017, that will only help the Cowboys. He will impact their defense in a few ways. Being the athlete he is, he will be able to pick up receivers and stay with them. This helps the secondary focus on deep threats. If Smith can keep up with tight ends going over the middle or slot receivers, he will take a great amount of pressure off of Byron Jones, Anthony Brown, and the other secondary defenders if they are resigned. Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr, and J.J. Wilcox are all currently free agents.

He’s also going to help the guys up front on the defensive line. Smith is a big guy at 6’2″ and 235 pounds. He can help in blitz packages with his speed and power. Jaylon Smith has a very high football IQ. If you watch his college tape at Notre Dame, you’d see that as well. He can spy on the quarterback and stay one step ahead of the play. He analyses the play as it’s unfolding and then explodes onto the scene.

Together, Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith will command the Cowboys‘ defense. With their leadership and football knowledge, the Dallas defense will improve in a great way. Those two playing over the middle will provide match up issues for any offense. They are strong and quick players who can do everything as they will constantly make plays. If Jaylon Smith can recover enough to start for Dallas, look out for this defense in 2017.