The progression of Jaylon Smith
The Cowboys drafted Smith in 2015. After missing the entire 2016 season, questions still remained as to whether he would even play this year. Throughout mini-camps and organized team activities, Smith stuck with rehabbing instead of football.
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Once training camp came, it was revealed that Smith would play with a brace that would help combat his drop foot. None of that gave anyone any delusions of what to expect. As a result, anything Smith would provide this team in 2017 would be a bonus.
Initially, Smith was asked to contribute more than the team would have liked. A late preseason injury to Anthony Hitchens thrust Smith into a bigger role.
As one would expect, Smith’s struggles early were very apparent. As the season went on, however, Smith got better and better. By the end of the season, you could see him play more instinctively and less reactionary.
With an entire offseason to continue to get healthy and hopefully lose the brace, it’s incredibly likely that Smith will continue to progress.
A return to form from his Notre Dame days does not seem out of the question all of a sudden.