It’s not every day that the Dallas Cowboys hold a press conference to announce a contract extension with a player. Incidentally though, that day has come twice since last season ended.
The Cowboys rolled out all of the bells and whistles to celebrate DeMarcus Lawrence becoming the franchise’s highest-paid player ever what feels like forever ago. They did the same on Tuesday to celebrate Jaylon Smith tying himself to the team for the foreseeable future.
Smith’s story is incredible, everybody knows that. The godbacker is living proof that miracles do exist, and every time he exerts his will on the football field there are people from the opposing team that are reminded as well.
So much about Smith is about who he is, though. We’re talking about somebody who is thoughtful, bright, and aware of the situation that he finds himself in. He’s an entrepreneur who wants to maximize the fact that he plays for the Dallas Cowboys which is a lot more difficult than it sounds.
He plays at the heart of the team’s defense and is so ferocious that he’s even one of the Hot Boyz that specialize in rushing the passer. But more than being great at actually playing on the football field Smith is fantastic at leading on it. Smith is a leader through and through, you can see it in every sense of who he is. It’s time that he got what all leaders get, the honor of team captain.
Jaylon Smith absolutely deserves to be a Cowboys team captain
Of all the fantastic things that Smith said during his press conference there was one that really stood out. You see, in moments like the one he was in you hear players talk about the accomplishments that got them there and their aspirations for the future. You generally hear about how guys want to win a Super Bowl, end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and not to say that Smith doesn’t want those things, but he cited something else that he desires.
People like Jaylon Smith aren’t just leaders. I mean, they are, but there’s something distinct about it. People like Jaylon Smith seek leadership which is why it should come as no surprise that he wants to be a captain for the Dallas Cowboys.
To be clear, some would say to have a Clear Eye View, he was likely headed for captaincy this season anyway. He is one of the centers of the Cowboys defense, a unit that he himself likes to refer to as a tribe, and during the preseason he’s made appearances for the opening coin toss in one of the captain spots.
You might be wondering why something that seems so trivial would be so important to Smith. I urge you to consider yet again that this is who he is. It means something to him to be a captain in general, but more than that it means something to him to be a captain for the Dallas Cowboys. He recognizes the tradition he’s part of and he wants to carry that torch. Isn’t that what we want from our favorite players?
Think about it, and please don’t consider this a slight at anyone who isn’t Jaylon Smith, how often do you see members of the Cowboys talk about or pay homage to the team’s storied history? Don’t we all want to believe that they love the team as much as we do? That’s absolutely the case with Smith as evidenced by his pre-game wardrobe ahead of the Thanksgiving Day contest last year when he donned Ring of Honor member Chuck Howley’s jersey.
Howley wore number 54 just like Jaylon, so a good bet would be that the latter will represent Randy White on Turkey Day this year. Still though, how cool is this?
Captaincy has clearly meant a lot to Jaylon wherever he’s been
Smith played his college football at one of the most storied places that you can, the University of Notre Dame. The legends that have spent their Saturdays in Southbend are too many for us to name, but Smith’s name is on the list (as is Zack Martin who was himself once a captain for Notre Dame).
Smith came close in 2014 as a sophomore, but he was finally named a captain of the Fighting Irish in 2015. He was the only underclassman to receive the honor. That says a lot about him.
With Smith wanting to be a captain and the Cowboys handing him a contract extension that establishes him as one of the faces of the team, it makes sense that he would finally receive the honor in his true third year like he did at Notre Dame. Is that possible, though?
NFL teams are allowed to have up to six captains on their team. Interestingly enough all five from last season are returning, plus a former captain is back on the team in Jason Witten.
2018 Dallas Cowboys Captains
- Dak Prescott
- Zack Martin
- Sean Lee
- Tyrone Crawford
- Chris Jones
If you add Witten then there are obviously six, but there’s a definite imbalance as that puts three on offense, two on defense, and one on special teams. People have championed for Byron Jones to receive the honor in years past, and while there’s a good case for DeMarcus Lawrence as well, it feels like if anyone new is going to crack the lineup it’s Jaylon Smith.
So how would that work out then? Dak is going to be one (ducks), Zack Martin certainly deserves it, and Tyrone Crawford is a cherished captain by his teammates even though there are people who aren’t all too pleased with him as a player at times. Those three, along with Chris Jones, make for a safe four (it’s worth noting Maliek Collins also walked out for the coin toss during the Rams preseason game).
It’s very difficult to imagine the Cowboys not giving Witten the iconic “C” back, so how do we get Smith in the mix then? I’m saying this with the utmost respect for him, but it feels like it makes sense for Sean Lee’s spot to be given to him.
Lee is on this team in a reduced role and we’re all certainly grateful for his presence. As the leader, the heartbeat even, of the defense it makes far more sense for Smith to wear the honor as opposed to someone who’s going to be playing on a more limited basis.
However the Cowboys are able to give Jaylon Smith the honor captain, it needs to happen. It should be noted that it’s not like Jason Garrett decides this and that it’s voted on by the players, but this is a player who is absolutely deserving of the title and carries the Cowboys franchise with him in everything that he does.
Make it happen, Cowboys.