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Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith’s extension: 5-year deal, $64M total, $35.5M guaranteed

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Contract terms for the newest cornerstone Cowboy.

NFL: NFC Wild Card-Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate their newest franchise cornerstone, Jaylon Smith.

Smith has been a part of the team for a few years now, but this extension cements him as a huge part of the team’s future. Dallas invested, and risked, a lot when they drafted him three years ago given his injury concern, and that has paid off in a way that even the brightest optimists couldn’t have imagined.

As a result of his “redshirt” season for the Cowboys in 2016, he was set to be a restricted free agent following the upcoming 2019 season. That meant that the Cowboys held his rights for two more years, so choosing to do an extension with him now was an interesting decision.

Many were curious as to what the exact terms would be on Smith’s deal and Stephen Jones announced them during his press conference. Get ready to freak out, it’s quite the steal:

  • Five-year deal
  • $64M total ($12.8M per year)
  • $35.5M guaranteed

This is unbelievable for the Cowboys, but to be fair they were working with the fact that Smith would be an RFA next season. Considering that, Smith knew the position that he was in and elected to be more of a team player (more on that in a second).

Consider that the New York Jets signed C.J. Mosley for $17M per year in free agency. The Seattle Seahawks locked down Bobby Wagner for a deal valued at $18M per year. For Smith to be at $12.8M per year is just unfathomable.

Jaylon Smith understands the brand associated with the Dallas Cowboys

Throughout his entire press conference, Jaylon Smith was extremely firm in that he wanted to be associated with the brand that is the Dallas Cowboys. He called it the most prestigious brand in the world. Smith is quite the entrepreneur at a young age and already has his hand in various financial places. Being part of America’s Team brings with it enormous value.

This is a point that many people bring up when it comes to players, whether in house or via free agency, agreeing to terms with the Cowboys. It has to be worth more to play for them than the Jacksonville Jaguars, right? It clearly is in the clear eyes of Jaylon Smith (shout out to his Clear Eye View brand!).

What’s more is Jaylon Smith spoke with great admiration about being a team player. In so many words, both he and Jerry Jones emphasized that this deal is partly what it is so that the Cowboys can maintain the other great players they have on their roster. Smith doing this, and championing the cause, is quite the message to other players who are negotiating with the team.

He spoke of egos, not identifying with them, and about being a leader. He talked about wanting to be a captain for the Dallas Cowboys, vowing that it would one day happen, but he even pulled back the curtain which was interesting. After openly saying that he wasn’t sure if he was supposed to say it, Jaylon Smith noted that he and the Cowboys got the deal done in “about a week and a half” (Stephen Jones chimed in “less than that”).

Overall, Jaylon Smith put together one of the most impressive press conferences that you’ll ever see from an NFL player. He spoke with great poise and about all things important to him which of course include the his family, the Dallas Cowboys, football, and business. He is an absolute dream of a player to have and he worked with the Cowboys in getting such a team-friendly deal. Whether his teammates (who Smith said he considers brothers and is rooting for in their own negotiations) are able to to the same degree remains to be seen.

Congratulations to Jaylon Smith. Clear Eye View.