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Cowboys lose Isaiah Land and Jabril Cox, former Panthers LB could be replacement

Brandon Smith could be the developmental LB/DE they lost in Isaiah Land and Jabril Cox.

NFL: OCT 23 Buccaneers at Panthers Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After making roster cuts to get under the league mandated 53-man limit, the Dallas Cowboys ended up losing a couple of developmental players they would've liked to have brought back to the practice squad in Isaiah Land and Jabril Cox.

Isaiah Land, one of Dallas' undrafted free agent signings this year, showed quite a bit of promise as a pass rusher throughout training camp and preseason. Unfortunately, he was claimed off waivers by the Indianapolis Colts, breaking many hearts around Cowboys Nation who hated to see him cut in the first place.

As for Jabril Cox, he was a former fourth-round draft pick by the Cowboys in 2021. He has all the athletic traits teams look for in a starting caliber linebacker, but unfortunately he never quite developed the way many had hoped. After clearing waivers, he decided to sign with the Washington Commanders practice squad instead of returning to Dallas.

Losing both players isn't a really big blow to the Cowboys roster, but they were both players the organization wanted to continue to develop for the future. Now they have to look elsewhere for more depth at both defensive end and linebacker. Fortunately, there is one player still out there who could help at both positions, Brandon Smith.

Brandon Smith was the Carolina Panthers former fourth-round pick (120th overall) in the 2022 NFL draft. The Penn State LB was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and a former teammate of Cowboys superstar Micah Parsons. Reuniting the two in Dallas could be mutually beneficial for all parties concerned.

The 6'3", 250-pound LB is exactly the type of developmental player the Cowboys typically are drawn to. He has position flex to potentially play as a traditional off-ball linebacker and the size/athleticism to put his hand in the dirt as a pass rusher as well. With that kind of versatility it's almost as if they'd be getting two players in one.

Now, one of the reasons Brandon Smith was released by the Panthers is because he's still pretty raw in his technique and would need further development before he could potentially be relied upon. But, so were both Isaiah Land and Jabril Cox. In Smith, they'd be adding one player could possibly two positions instead of two that just play one. In theory, they'd be saving a roster spot for someone else.

Only time will tell if the Dallas Cowboys decide to pull the trigger and add Brandon Smith to practice squad. With only three true linebackers currently on the roster and one on the practice squad it makes a lot of sense. We will have to take the wait-and-see approach to find out if the former Penn State LB is someone they show an interest in or not.

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