In an unexpected move, the Cowboys have reportedly released linebacker Jaylon Smith four weeks into the season, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The move comes two days after Dallas's 36-28 win over the Panthers.
Smith, 26, was the 34th overall pick in the 2016 draft after winning the Butkus Award as college football's top linebacker at Notre Dame. He was widely considered to be a top-five pick before tearing his ACL and LCL in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl, and missed his entire rookie season in 2017.
From 2018 to Week 4 of this season, Smith played in all 68 games for the Cowboys with 56 starts, totaling 516 tackles, nine sacks, five fumble recoveries and two interceptions. Smith signed a six-year, $68 million contract extension with the team in 2019.
In four games this year, Smith made two starts and recorded 18 tackles. The Cowboys still owe Smith $7.2 million for this season, per Schefter. By releasing him, Dallas will take on $16.6 million of dead cap, according to Spotrac.
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