FRISCO - Old friend Jaylon Smith was, all things considered, a success story with the Dallas Cowboys. But for the second time in two years, he'll get a chance to contribute to a Cowboys' rival trying to take down Dallas.
Smith, the 6-2, 245-pound linebacker, was signed Monday to the New York Giants practice squad just in time for the 2-0 team from the Big Apple to begin work preparing for a "Monday Night Football'' visit from the 1-1 Cowboys.
Smith, 27, was taken by the Cowboys in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft even though some in the league believed he'd never play again due to a serious leg injury sustained in his final game at Notre Dame.
What we often at the time called a "medical and faith-based miracle'' saw Smith fight his way through the injury to the point where he started six games in 2017 and then signed a five-year, $65-million deal before the 2019 season, after which Smith led the Cowboys in tackles and made the Pro Bowl.
He led the team in tackles again in 2020, but the Cowboys judged his play to have declined, and four games into the 2021 season he was released after Dallas failed to find a trade partner.
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He quickly signed with the Green Bay Packers, but that only lasted two weeks. By mid-December, the Giants found themselves in need of help at linebacker, and he played in the team’s final four games - including in one game against the Cowboys that saw Dallas win ... do the "Landry Shift'' to close ... and had th demonstrative Jaylon seemingly participating, just a little bit, with the wrong team.
Smith was a full-time helper in the Giants’ final four games last year but will start on the New York practice squad this time around ... maybe building to once again play against the Cowboys on Monday.
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