Dallas Cowboys: Jaylon Smith contract extension the first domino to fall
The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with linebacker Jaylon Smith. His is likely the first domino to fall in a slew of extensions.
After months of speculation, the Dallas Cowboys have finally agreed to a contract extension. But it’s likely not a name fans have been patiently waiting for. According to several sources, the Cowboys have agreed to an extension with fourth-year linebacker Jaylon Smith.
Smith suffered a devastating knee injury prior to the 2016 NFL Draft and was forced to miss his entire rookie season rehabilitating. The former second-round selection was slated to be an unrestricted free agent in 2020.
But with other, more pressing contract extensions on their plate, the Cowboys’ brass figured to prioritize players like quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper and running back Ezekiel Elliott. In fact, Elliott has yet to step foot in training camp as he’s seeking an extension despite having two years remaining on his current deal.
Yet, it is Smith who is reportedly signing an extension first. The 24-year old is coming off a career season in Dallas. Smith posted 121 total tackles, 4.0 sacks, four pass defends and a defensive touchdown off a scoop-and-score fumble recovery. He was also a full 16-game starter for the first time in 2018.
Combined with 2018 first-round selection, Leighton Vander Esch, who was named to the Pro Bowl his rookie season, Smith is part of what many consider to be the most talented linebacker corps in the entire NFL. It makes sense that the Cowboys would want to sign the talented defender to a long-term deal, although the specifics of the contract extension are not yet known.
UPDATE: According to Pro Football Talk, the Cowboys have signed Jaylon Smith to a five-year extension worth $64 million, with $35.5 million guaranteed. He’s under contract in Dallas for the next six years (2025).
The extension of Jaylon Smith is likely to be the first domino to fall in what should be a flood of deals happening in the next couple weeks. The most pressing of which is, of course, the talks with Ezekiel Elliott. It is imperative the Cowboys get Elliott back for the start of the regular season, which is now less than three weeks away.