The mystery of Jaylon Smith. It’s one of the most intriguing story lines of the 2017 off-season. As the second series of OTAs commence, all eyes are still on the Cowboys prized linebacker. “How’s the nerve?” “Is he moving around okay?” “How effective is he going to be this year?” are just some of the many questions that surround the team’s high-risk, second-round gamble pick from a year ago. After sitting out the 2016 season, fans want to know, “What can we expect from Jaylon this year?” Well, you have questions, and Stephen Jones has answers. Jones spoke about Smith on ESPN 103.3 FM recently and as Clarence Hill Jr. reported, his words were very encouraging:
“Where he sits today he is definitely going to be a big contributor for us,” Jones said recently on KESN ESPN 103.3 FM. “What our medical people believe, he should only improve. He gets more and more nerve functions every day. He is only going to get better. As we watch him move and gain confidence, it’s certainly encouraging. We just believe he is going to be a big time contributor for the Dallas Cowboys.”
Now before you go dismissing the optimism from someone in the Cowboys front office, let’s recognize who’s doing the talking.
If it was Jerry Jones saying this, people wouldn’t put much stock into it. That guy has over-flooded us with optimism too many times. Granted, he’s calmed down a bit in recent years, but there are still trust issues.
If this was Jason Garrett saying this....wait, who are we kidding? Garrett would never indulge such information and hypothesize about how a player is going to perform. If Garrett was asked if the sun was hot, he’d respond with, “I really don’t want to speculate on the temperature conditions of any specific star in our solar system. It’s a sphere of hot plasma so yes, the potential to be hot is certainly there. But let’s take it day-by-day before jumping to those conclusions.” Yes, that’s Garrett for you. He gives us nothing.
But this comment wasn’t from Jerry or Jason. It was from Stephen Jones who is the happy medium between the two. Stephen is also careful about what he says. Like Garrett, you’ll hear a lot of vagueness in his comments as well. But like his father, he’ll tell you something. The most reassuring part of his comment was this piece:
“He gets more and more nerve functions every day.”
This is what we want to hear. This nerve is the determining factor of how reliant he’ll be on his brace. Jones already believes he’s at a point to where he feels Smith can be a big factor for the team this season. And it’s only going to get better from him.