FRISCO - They are "minor'' in nature but they are surgeries nonetheless, and two of the foundation pieces of the Dallas Cowboys roster - linebacker Jaylon Smith and receiver Amari Cooper - will go into the 2021 NFL offseason facing some rehab work.
The Cowboys announced on Thursday that Smith has undergone surgery on his left wrist. We know that the wrist nagged Smith at times during the season - and he did pop up occasionally on the injury report - but he always played through the problem. And while his critics are many (we continue to argue that the Dallas coaching staff did Smith no favors by failing to put him in positions to succeed), Jaylon continues to be an iron man in Dallas.
In addition to his stats - Smith had 154 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, an interception and five passes defensed - he also played in or started all 16 games, every season, for a fourth consecutive season.
Smith's salary is also a reason he draws criticism, though in 2021 he is set to make $7.2 million - something short of outrageous.
Meanwhile, Cooper - who will again make $20 million - essentially played at a Pro Bowl level despite Dallas using a variety of QBs following the Dak Prescott injury. And Cooper plans to do the same in 2021 following his rehab from a minor ankle operation after the end of the regular season.
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