Jerry Jones says LB Jaylon Smith can be 'outstanding pass rusher' for Cowboys

BY Cameron DaSilva • February 12, 2017

The Dallas Cowboys took a chance on Jaylon Smith in the second round of the 2016 draft, knowing that he may never play a down in the NFL. His significant knee injury was one that threatened his career, suffering ligament and nerve damage in his leg.

He missed all of this season, as expected, but is planning to be ready to go when OTAs get underway. He’s remained in shape for the past few months, culminating in him going through positional drills to show his rehab progress.

Jerry Jones lauded Smith for being an impactful player in 2017, and believes he’s healthy enough to play right now.

“We have, in Jaylon Smith, a real improvement to our defense. He can play now if he starts now and has the kind of spring that you'd expect him to have,” Jones said on ESPN Dallas 103.3 radio. “He can play, in my view, where he is. But I do expect him to improve with his nerve and even be more comfortable, but in my mind, he's capable of playing right now.

“He's a dramatic difference on the field. He's not necessarily your designated pass rusher, but I don't know that he can't be an outstanding pass rusher,” Jones said. “He's outstanding every place else. Now this guy is – healthy – a No. 1 pick. So, right there we've got a chance to add a new face that makes a difference for us.”

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