Off the Record (OTR)

Jones expects Smith to play next year

The Dallas Cowboys took a bit of a risk last year when they took Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith in the second round of the NFL Draft last year.

Smith has severe nerve damage in his leg and a bit of a problem with the drop foot. Not good, but I’m told by doctor sources (FAKE NEWS!) that drop foot isn’t awful when it’s caused by trauma, and that Smith should be okay.

Cowboys general manager Stephen Jones sure hopes so. He thinks he should be able to contribute next year.

“We think he’s going to be real effective, but how effective remains to be seen, and that’s why I think it’s difficult to say, ‘Well, we expect him to be the dominant player he was at Notre Dame.’ That’s probably high expectations. Is it possible? Absolutely,” Jones said.

Could Smith really ball out next year for a Cowboys defense that could really use the production?

“I think the sky’s the limit,” Jones said. “I think he’s got a great opportunity, if he keeps on his current path, to be a dominant player for us. Now to say I expect that when he’s not there yet? That’s tough to have that expectation. But I think we do expect him to contribute and be a big part of our defense this year. The question is how physically well he gets by the start of next season in terms of some of what he still has hampering him somewhat. But our guys are convinced he can play in his current condition, and it should only improve as we go.”

The Cowboys rolled the dice last year and are surely hoping to get a star out of Smith. They are probably also hoping to get something out of Randy Gregory, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that either.

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