Jaylon Smith is the biggest wild card of the upcoming Cowboys season. The linebacker missed all of 2016 while recovering from a serious knee injury — which, of course, he’s still working hard to come back from — but that hasn’t stopped certain members of the organization from being optimistic about his potential in 2017.
With training camp on the horizon, interest in Smith’s recovery is sure to spike again, especially once the 22-year-old straps on the pads for the first time alongside his teammates.
Here is a collection of analysis and opinions on Smith’s recovery from some of SportsDay’s experts, members of the Cowboys and others who cover the team that have been published or broadcast in the past month or so:
Cowboys safety Byron Jones: “He looks good. He’s healthy, he’s 100 percent. His mind is – he doesn’t worry about what happened two years ago. He doesn’t care about that. I think his motto is clear-eye vision and he’s doing well at that. He’s balling out for us so far, learning the playbook and he looks healthy running around.”
Brandon George, The Dallas Morning News: “The Cowboys expect Smith to start at middle linebacker and are proceeding as if he’ll be good to go from the opening kickoff.
“Smith practiced with his teammates for the first time this offseason and hasn’t experienced any setbacks.
“However, it’s unknown whether he’ll ever regain his college form that made him one of the elite prospects in the 2016 draft. Cowboys coaches and officials have been pleased with his progress but also know that he hasn’t played a down of football since Jan. 7, 2016.”
David Helman, DallasCowboys.com: “Far be…
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