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Jaylon Smith Reacts to Decreased Role on Cowboys Defense

Devon Platana
Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith reacts to his decreased role in the team's defense.
Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith reacts to his decreased role in the team's defense. / Elsa/Getty Images

Former Pro Bowl linebacker Jaylon Smith has been one of the mainstays on the Dallas Cowboys defense over the last half-decade. However, he's found himself seeing less playing time as the Cowboys have started rookie LB Micah Parsons and safety-turned-linebacker Keanu Neal over Smith in the last two preseason games.

Smith spoke with reporters on Saturday and was asked about his decreased role going forward. The 26-year-old replied by saying that "vet life. vet life." Considering that he was also laughing when he said that, it doesn't seem like he's too bothered by his new role.

Dallas Cowboys News

Smith was solid for the Cowboys in the 2020 NFL season. He played 16 games for the fourth straight year, finishing with 154 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, five passes defended and an interception. However, Smith faced criticism because of his speed and the fact that he missed 5.5% of his tackles. His 54.2 overall grade on Pro Football Focus shows that some improvements can be made.

Nevertheless, Smith clearly understands the criticism he's been facing. Earlier this week, he acknowledged that even the best athletes have their fair share of doubters. He added that his goal is to work on controlling what he can control as he focuses on being the best version of himself.

The Cowboys are in a tough position because Smith still has five years (including this season) left on his contract to the tune of around $60 million.

Smith will have one final preseason shot to prove his worth to Dallas as the team takes on the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday. FanDuel Sportsbook is favoring the Jaguars to win the matchup at -190 odds while the Cowboys are +160 underdogs at home.

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