It was 2016, and Jaylon Smith was probably the best linebacker in the country. The spotlight was shining on him. The Notre Dame LB was soon to be a household name. However, in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State, he suffered a horrific knee injury, causing him and everyone else to question if he could ever play football again.
Fast forward to the 2016, the Cowboys shocked the world and drafted the injured linebacker in the second round (pick 34). Some thought this was too high and way too big of a risk, however, the Cowboys took a chance; a chance that could potentially help the Cowboys make a Super Bowl run.
- Jaylon Smith has made huge strides in his injury. He did not play a snap the year he was drafted but went on to play in 16 games in 2017. That’s a huge deal. From being told you’ll never play again, to playing an entire NFL season, that’s quite the accomplishment. As Jaylon’s knee gets stronger, Jaylon gets faster and more fearless. If he can play a second full year at full speed, he has the natural talent to be the best LB in the game.
- He has lost weight. Jaylon wasn’t overweight by any stretch, but now being able to be 100% fearless with his knee, he was able to fully shed the extra body fat holding him back. As a LB, you need to be as fast as possible. The days of a slower LB who stuff the run are getting older and older. Jaylon now has the ability to drop in coverage, blitz quicker and be free flowing on defense. Dropping 3.5% body fat and adding muscle will help Jaylon be at the peak of his fitness and help the Cowboys become a fearless, speedy defense.
- Jaylon doesn’t get enough credit for his knowledge of the game. Studying with Sean Lee for two years has helped him tremendously. The linebacker has to be the smartest person on the defense. Watch this clip via the @dallascowboys twitter of him showing off his football IQ. https://twitter.com/dallascowboys/status/1018178310441000960
- Jaylon Smith has an infectious personality. Sometimes, when you watch athletes, you can tell they don’t love their profession 100%. They don’t give effort all of the time. With Jaylon, it’s the opposite. When you listen to him or watch him play, his energy in awe-inspiring. Since his injury, he has worked extremely hard to prove everyone wrong. If you follow him on twitter, he is maybe the hardest working Cowboys on the roster. The Cowboys are in need of some positive outlooks for this season. There are a lot of unknowns for this roster and if anyone can ease the tension and lead this team, it’s Jaylon Smith. He’s born for it. Nothing would be more satisfying to him, than leading America’s team, his teammates and Cowboys Nation to the promised land.
- Jaylon Smith has a new outlook for this year. If you follow Jaylon Smith on Twitter, you’ll understand the title to this article. He is living life with a Clear Eye View. And no, he isn’t just endorsing his sunglass line. His motivation and work ethic to get to this point is outstanding. With where he has had to come from, and to have this positive attitude, Jaylon is going to be the X-Factor for the Cowboys. Last year, in 16 games, he recorded 1 sack, 50 tackles, 81 combined tackles, just to name a few stats. While this isn’t something to write home about, it’s a start to something great. It’s a start to a full recovery. It’s a start to being a blue chip piece on defense. It’s a start to leading the Cowboys defense. It’s a clear eye view of what could be.
Let’s root for the guy. Let’s watch him maybe even have one of the greatest sports comebacks ever. Why not join Jaylon in having a #cleareyeview.
Comment below on what you think Jaylon Smith can be for the Cowboys this year.
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