The Dallas Cowboys have reached a contract extension with one of their young stars.
But it’s not Dak Prescott.
Or Ezekiel Elliott.
Or Amari Cooper.
Cowboys, Jaylon Smith agree to extension
Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones told media that Dallas and linebacker Jaylon Smith have agreed on a five-year extension worth $64 million, with $35.5 million guaranteed.
Smith himself tweeted confirmation and appreciation for the deal:
3 and a half years ago on Jan 1st, 2016,— Jaylon Smith (@thejaylonsmith) August 20, 2019
Tears in my eyes,
My life changed forever.
I embraced each moment.
I had a focused vision, determined belief and now I have earned one of my dreams! #ClearEyeView | #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/xqNDGFNSFS
Smith was set to become a restricted free agent after this season, which meant the Cowboys controlled his contract through 2020.
But Smith’s agent and Dallas began talks in the spring and they ramped up at the start of camp, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer.
Not slowed by injury
Smith was considered a surefire first-round pick coming out of Notre Dame in the fall of 2015 – that is, until he suffered a torn ACL, MCL and nerve damage in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Day 2016.
The injury cost him millions, with many draft observers believing Smith would fall to at least the third round. But Dallas drafted him high in the second, at 34th overall, knowing he wouldn’t be available for his true rookie season.
Smith played all 16 games (with six starts) in 2017, and started all 16 games last year, finishing with 121 total tackles on an up-and-coming defense.
Off the field, Smith is doing what he can for budding entrepreneurs in his hometown of Fort Wayne, Ind.. Last month, he held the Indiana Showcase, a project of his Minority Entrepreneurship Institute, which awarded funding and mentorship to small-business owners.
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