The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly planning to release linebacker Jaylon Smith and the LA Rams have had issues with health and consistency at the position, so should Les Snead make an effort to bring the former Notre Dame linebacker to SoFi Stadium? As we wrote at Turf Show Times last month, the Rams could be on the lookout for help now that Justin Hollins is on injured reserve, and Jaylon Smith is one option who I brought up at the time.
Now it looks LA wouldn’t even have to make any sacrifices to add Smith, other than maybe a roster spot — and even then it might only be on the practice squad.
Smith was projected as a top-five pick coming out of a Notre Dame in 2017, but a devastating knee injury raised concerns of whether he would ever be the same player again. The Cowboys drafted Smith with the second pick of the second round, 34th overall, and he started six games as a rookie.
Despite his previous injury, Smith played in 64 of 64 possible games during his first four seasons, making the Pro Bowl in 2018 and drawing praise for his play. But expectations had to be “readjusted” for Jaylon Smith last year because he doesn’t seem to have the physical attributes necessary to make the plays that he knows he needs to make.
Though Smith started 16 games in 2020 and made 154 tackles with one interception and 1.5 sacks, he was enough of a liability in coverage and missed tackles that the Cowboys drafted linebacker Micah Parsons with the 12th overall pick and signed Keanu Neal in free agency, signaling a demotion. Smith has played in 56% of the snaps this year and now seems to be on his way to free agency.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that the Cowboys could still trade him but that it is looking unlikely and he will be released. As a veteran, he should become a free agent and not be subject to waivers.
Should the Rams take a look?