It sounds like the Dallas Cowboys tried to trade Jaylon Smith during the NFL Draft this year.
Dallas Cowboys fans cannot wash the taste of last season out of their mouths fast enough. From losing Dak Prescott to a devestating and horrific injury, to the countless ways the team managed to lose games it should have won, last year was a total embarassment.
The shockwave from last season’s failure made way for a number of changes this offseason, most notably the replacement of defensive coordinator Mike Nolan by former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn.
Bringing in an arcitect of the Legion of Boom feels like a step in the right direction, and implies that the Cowboys are serious about fixing the defense. But Quinn’s arrival, and the bevy of free agents he brought with him, isn’t the only potential change the Cowboys defense will undergo.
According to NFL insider Charlie Campbell, the Cowboys attempted to trade linebacker Jaylon Smith as recently as last month’s NFL Draft.
“League sources say two players who were shopped around this year were Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson and Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith,” Campbell reported. “Sources said a number of teams had their pro scouts look review Smith’s tape, but they did not like what they saw, so their organizations declined to pursue him in a trade.”
Even though a trade didn’t happen during the draft, Campbell reports that the possibility a deal gets onde still exists.
Smith was a lottery ticket draft pick for the Cowboys back in 2016, falling to the second round due to medical issues. He missed his entire rookie season recovering from a torn ACL and MCL, but made the Pro Bowl in 2019 and earned a lucrative second contract with the Cowboys that same year.
But as the Cowboys went off the rails in 2020, so too did most of its key pieces. Dallas drafted Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons in the first round this year, a player who many view as the anchor of the defense moving forward. With Sean Lee recently retired and valid questions about Leighton Vander Esch’s long-term health, the Cowboys needed a leader at linebacker and decided to draft him rather than hand that expectation to Smith.
Beyond his poor play last season, the $64 million contract Dallas has on the books for Smith is likely also a motivating factor to want to move him. Smith is just a year removed from being one of the top linebackers in the entire league, and a season with Dan Quinn could do wonders for both him and the Cowboys.
The trade rumors are out there, though, and time will tell if Smith gets a chance to make a lasting impact in Dallas or if that opportunity will come elsewhere.