DALLAS (WANE) – Fort Wayne native Jaylon Smith was drafted by the Cowboys in 2016, but the Bishop Luers grad’s time in Dallas has come to an end as the franchise released the linebacker in a surprising move on Tuesday night.
Smith, a second round pick out of Notre Dame, has seen his playing time fluctuate dramatically this season. Since drafting Smith the Cowboys have spent multiple first round picks on linebackers (Leighton Vander Esch in 2018, Micah Parsons in 2021). He posted 18 total tackles for Dallas over the first four games of the 2021 season.
The Cowboys signed Smith to a five-year, $64 million contract in 2019 with $35.5 million guaranteed. According to reports, the Cowboys still owe Smith $7.2 million this year.
Smith made the Pro Bowl in 2019. He also overcame a severe knee injury during his final game at Notre Dame – an injury that caused him to miss the entire 2016 NFL season. Smith won the Butkus Award as a junior at Notre Dame as the best linebacker in college football.
Smith also won the high school edition of the Butkus Award in 2012 as a senior at Luers. He was tabbed Indiana’s Mr. Football in 2012 as well after leading Luers to its fourth-straight state title.