Jaylon Smith Released by Dallas Cowboys, Signs With Green Bay Packers

Jaylon Smith

The big news this week includes Jaylon Smith released by the Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys have released Jaylon Smith after five seasons. Smith was selected 34th overall in the second round, an absolute steal after the linebacker suffered a brutal injury for Notre Dame. The former Dallas Cowboy was injured in the Fiesta Bowl. The Dallas Cowboys decided to release the former Pro Bowl linebacker citing big picture implications for their decision. Later, he signed with the Green Bay Packers.

Jaylon Smith Cut by Dallas Cowboys, Signs With Green Bay Packers

Big News

Dallas stunned the sports news world by releasing their former Pro Bowl middle linebacker following a great win against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Jaylon Smith has been one of the better linebackers in the NFL since he entered the NFL. Dallas has long since struggled defensively with the sole bright spot at the linebacker position. Smith was one of the first steps in righting the ship to flip the poor defensive narrative.

The Cowboys have had some historically poor defensive seasons over the past several years. Despite, the poor overall defense, the Cowboys have enjoyed some great play at linebacker with Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. Sean Lee has also contributed to run-stopping over the past several years. The beginning of the 2020 season was promising for eh Cowboys until injuries shot the team dead in the water. The Cowboys would resume the season with one of the historically worst defensives seasons in NFL history.

The 2021 season has been promising thus far. Dallas has played some of the elite offenses in the NFL and the defense has stood strong. The defense has recorded its fair share of defensive stops, sacks, and turnovers. Smith has been a large part of the run defense and keeping mobile quarterbacks in check including Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert.

Smith has been good this season, despite off-season criticism. NFL analysts and talking heads have pointed to Smith’s poor change of direction. This decline in mobility has led some to point out Smith is no longer worth his massive contract.

Jaylon Smith’s Contract

Smith’s contract was good through 2025. This contract was worth $64 million with $35.5 guaranteed. The most interest portion of his contract included an additional $9.2 million if Smith were to get injured this season, leaving the Cowboys on the hook in a season with a ton of injuries already. Dallas will have to pay $7.2 million out this season to fulfill the contract, but with Micah Parsons, the Cowboys are confident in their decision to move on.

Parsons is one of the future bright spots in the NFL. He is a recent Penn State University graduate who has already made his impact known in the NFL. Parsons is well on his way to a long career in the NFL. Leighton Vander Esch is another young name for the Cowboys at linebacker. Vander Esch is seeking a new contract this season and now has more motivation to earn his place in Dallas. Recent criticism of Smith and his obvious decline in quickness led Dallas to move on and invest in younger talent.

Jaylon Smith to Green Bay

Hours after he was released, the Green Bay Packers emerged as contenders to sign Smith. Later on Wednesday, Green Bay began finalizing a deal to sign the former pro bowl linebacker which became official on Thursday. The Packers are lacking at linebacker, making Smith a perfect fit for the potential Super Bowl contenders. Smith joins a team desperate for help on the defensive side of the ball looking to make a deep playoff run. Perhaps Smith will get to showcase his talent in the playoffs against his former team of five years.

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