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Cowboys news: Cowboys release linebacker Jaylon Smith

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NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Source: Dallas Cowboys release former Pro Bowl linebacker Jaylon Smith - Todd Archer, ESPN

It seemed inevitable this move was coming at some point, but no one expected it to come during the season.

The Dallas Cowboys have released linebacker Jaylon Smith, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The move comes as a surprise since Smith has not missed a game in his career and the Cowboys are on the hook for his full $7.2 million base salary. The team had some trade discussions earlier in the season, according to sources, but a deal never came to fruition. By releasing Smith now, the Cowboys are free from the $9.2 million base salary in 2022 that was currently guaranteed only for injury.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones met with Smith on Tuesday to discuss the team’s decision, according to a source.

After years of waiting, Cowboys’ patience in Randy Gregory is finally being rewarded - Jean-Jacques Taylor, Dallas Morning News

It’s been a great start to the season for Randy Gregory.

Gregory had two sacks, two tackles for loss and four quarterback hits, while also drawing a face mask penalty in the Cowboys’ 36-28 win Sunday over Carolina.. A week ago, he drew three holding penalties in a 41-21 win over Philadelphia.

“You have to be relentless to be a defensive end. Sometimes, I don’t get to the quarterback but I keep moving my feet and keep trying and you get guys in funky positions and they have to hold you,” Gregory told reporters after the game.

“I want to disrupt the game as much as I can whether that’s sacks or holding calls.”

That’s precisely what Gregory has been doing, and it’s impressive that he’s been able to disrupt opposing offenses without DeMarcus Lawrence playing left defensive end.

Big Picture: 5 Storylines for Cowboys & Giants - Nick Eatman and Kyle Youmans, DallasCowboys.com

Taking a look at some storylines heading into Week 5.

It took until Week 4 to finally see the Giants get into the win column, as they took down the Saints in dramatic fashion, 27-21 in overtime. New York trailed 21-10 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the fourth before a 58-yard touchdown throw to Saquon Barkley, along with the ensuing two-point conversion, cut the lead to just three. The Giants defense forced a big stop and the following 11-play drive allowed Graham Gano to hit a 48-yard field goal with 31 seconds left to force overtime. In overtime, Barkley found the endzone from six yards out, securing New York's first win of the season.

There have been very few individuals as highly scrutinized as Joe Judge since he took his first head coaching job prior to the 2020 season. It seems like there have been more verbal altercations, training camp brawls, and questionable decisions than wins during his tenure with the Giants. But after an 0-3 start, it seems as if Judge's unique coaching tactics worked in their favor in Week 4. To prepare for the hostile environment of New Orleans' Superdome, Judge "blasted" music in all the team meetings throughout the week. It'll be interesting to see the preparation tactic to face the revamped environment around AT&T Stadium this Sunday.

Chauncey Golston Making Up For Lost Time - Jonny Auping, DallasCowboys.com

The Cowboys rookie pass-rusher showed up big on Sunday.

Back in May, the recently drafted Golston said that he wanted to be a "Swiss-Army Knife" in Dan Quinn's defense, claiming he wanted to play "wherever the opportunity is." Sure enough, the defensive line had already faced its share of poor luck with injuries by the time Golston was back from injury. So, opportunity was certainly there.

Golston originally found the field at Iowa as an interior defensive linemen so defensive coordinator Dan Quinn isn't afraid to move him around and utilize his adaptability. "You just got to trust in the plan," Golston said after his big game Sunday. "And as you can see, it's working."

"I've been impressed by Chauncy, honestly, all the way back to the spring," Quinn said, before claiming that the whole staff was frustrated when he was hurt at the beginning of training camp because they'd already seen his potential in person. "To his credit, he wasn't someone who backed off the learning and the understanding."

Ezekiel Elliott is proving that he is still among the elite running backs in the NFL - Blogging The Boys

Ezekiel Elliott is back to looking like his old self.

No. 21 never quite looked like himself at just about any point of the 2020 season. He looked almost lethargic running the ball last year, almost as if his burst/explosiveness had suddenly disappeared. Not to mention the fumbling problems. It was so bad, in fact, many were calling for Tony Pollard to take over the lead role and that way of thinking continued heading into 2021.

It’s easy to forget Zeke was running behind an offensive line that was decimated by injuries last season. Regardless of position, it was pretty much a revolving door across the offensive line last year due to injuries. Only Connor Williams remained healthy and started all 16 games last year. Because of that, the entire offense suffered, not just Zeke.

Another factor was that no one was scared of the Cowboys quarterbacks last year after Dak Prescott went down. The revolving door of backups meant defenses were free to key in on Zeke and the running game and take their chances on the Cowboys passing game.

It’s also important to know Zeke’s carries dipped quite a bit last year. He surprisingly only had 244 rushing attempts in 2020, which is the lowest of his career except for his shortened 2017 season in which he was suspended six games. With the exception of 2017 and 2020, he’s had at least 300 rushing attempts, all of which he rushed for well over 1,000 yards.

3 Takeaways from Cowboys' Week 4 Win - Kristopher Knox, BleacherReport.com

What was your biggest takeaway from the Week 4 victory?

Dak Prescott Is Your 2021 Comeback Player of the Year Front-Runner. After he suffered a fractured and dislocated ankle in 2020, it was fair to ask when or whether Prescott could return to Pro Bowl form. The answer? As soon as he took the playing field again. Prescott is picking up where he left off before the injury—he led the league in passing when his season was cut short. He isn't leading the league this year (he's 12th) because Dallas' run game has been effective, but the Mississippi State product has been superb.

Though he only threw for 188 yards Sunday, Prescott rushed for 35 and tossed four touchdown passes. He's now thrown 10 touchdowns and just two picks while possessing a career-high passer rating of 116.9.

Prescott isn't going to run away with the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award as Alex Smith did a year ago. There are some viable competitors, including Saquon Barkley, Nick Bosa, Joe Burrow and Christian McCaffrey. However, Prescott is playing at an All-Pro level for a high-profile organization at the game's most important position. Barring a meltdown or another injury, this is looking like Prescott's award to lose.

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