Cowboys Rumors: Jaylon Smith Released, Will Be Owed $7.2M by Dallas

AP Photo/Roger Steinman
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Dallas Cowboys have released Jaylon Smith, a veteran linebacker.

Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News, quoted a source saying that Cowboys players are shocked by the decision.

Schefter pointed out that Smith's guaranteed $7.2 million salary is still due to Dallas, and that the financial consequences will continue into 2022.

Through the first four games of the team, the 26-year old had 17 tackles.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports that the team failed to negotiate a trade and that an outright release was the only viable option if the front office is committed to a separation.

In August 2019, Smith was signed by the Cowboys to a $64 million, five-year extension. Although he was a Pro Bowler the next season, Smith's departure shows how quickly his deal became a success for Dallas.

Pro Football Focus' Brad Spielberger claimed that it was the worst contract the team had, partly because Mike McCarthy had so many options for linebacker. After signing Keanu Neal, the team selected Micah Parsons 12th in the 2021 NFL Draft. Jabril Cox was added in the fourth round.

Parsons already has 17 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and Cox and Neal fit well into the defense.

Bob Sturm, The Athletic's sports editor, considered whether Dallas should make Smith a cut and decided that Smith was worthy of a shot under Dan Quinn, his new defensive coordinator. Sturm followed up with him in August, and raised questions about whether Quinn's 2016 second-round selection could fix his obvious deficiencies.

He wrote, "But I fear Smith is reading things slow right now and that his body makes him play slowly too." "I don't think that this is something that can last long."

Smith has not missed a single game since his rookie season. However, the knee injury he sustained in college will likely follow him wherever he goes. Smith's body's ability to withstand long-term injuries and the possibility of another major injury are both concerns.

Smith had 406 tackles, eightsacks, and two interceptions between 2018 and 2020. Smith is sure to be offered another chance in the NFL.

However, his abrupt departure from Dallas will raise questions about the role he could play elsewhere.