OXNARD, Calif. – “To whom much is given, much is required.”
That phrase sums up Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith’s perspective on being the “quarterback” of Dallas’ defense.
Smith, who is about to start his third season in a Cowboys uniform, spent his entire rookie year on NFL reserve after suffering a devastating knee injury in his final college game. Regardless of the injury and subsequent nerve damage, the Cowboys took a chance on him in the 2016 NFL draft, and it has paid off big time. Smith recorded his best season wearing the star in 2018, starting in all 16 games and tallying a career-high 150 tackles, second only to fellow starting linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. He finished tied for first on the Cowboys with two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and four sacks.
“For me it’s always been about my clear eye view,” Smith said. “From redshirting, to coming back, to playing a little bit and getting better every week, to last year being dominant and now on our quest to win a Super Bowl.”
Smith is the only player in camp consistently mentioning ‘Super Bowl’ in his comments to the media.
“That’s why we play the game,” Smith said. “For any team in the National Football League, if that’s not your goal, then you shouldn’t be out here. We are focused each and every day to better ourselves.”
According to head coach Jason Garrett, the training camp mantra this year is “Driven.” So with a drive to bring a championship back to Dallas, what can you expect from Smith in 2019?