The Cowboys have begun talks with linebacker Jaylon Smith — one no one outside of the organization saw coming, Patrick Walker of 247 Sports reports.
Smith is set to become a restricted free agent after 2019, meaning the Cowboys have the right to issue a tender that could be original round, second-round or first-round. Seeing as his original round is the second round — being the 34th-overall pick in 2016 — that leaves just two options, in reality.
There is a difference between those two tenders from a financial aspect, and we’ll get into that momentarily. Logic dictates they’d put a first-round tender on him, though, considering he was a consensus top-5 talent before suffering a catastrophic knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl nearly five months ahead of the draft.
Smith was told by many he’d never play football again, but the Cowboys’ medical staff didn’t agree, and rolled the dice on him. Following a redshirt rookie season, which is why he’d be an RFA in 2020, Smith had a mix of growing pains and awe-inspiring plays in his 2017 return to the field and debut in the NFL.