Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott and Byron Jones are the names that have been talked about all summer regarding their contract extensions.
There is one more very important contract extension for the Cowboys that I would think they would want to get done. But hardly anyone is talking about it.
That would be linebacker Jaylon Smith.
Smith is entering his final year of his rookie contract. He will be a restricted free agent next off-season.
In the NFL, a restricted free agent is one with three or fewer accrued seasons. The Cowboys will be able to extend a qualifying offer to Smith, but that would allow Smith to negotiate with other teams in addition to the Cowboys.
The Cowboys would have a five day period to be able to match any offer Smith receives.
The projected top 5 pick was taken 34th overall in the 2016 draft after suffering what could have been a career ending knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl. Even though playing in that bowl ultimately has cost him millions, Jaylon says he would make that same decision again in order to play one last time with his college teammates.
After missing the entire 2016 season, Smith returned to the field in 2017 playing all 16 games and recording 81 tackles. He has said that he wasn’t quite 100 percent despite playing all 16 games. In 2018, Smith returned to elite status alongside 2018 first round draft pick Leighton Vander Esch. Smith had 121 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles that he also recovered including one that he returned for a touchdown.
Some folks believe that Smith would be willing to offer some of sort of hometown discount because the Cowboys believed Smith could return to his elite status. That remains to be seen.
In a recent interview with SiriusXM, Smith said that his focus is solely on the 2019 season and that he is not worried about his contract status.
“When it’s time to for Jerry to cut the check, it will happen, you know, but I just got to embrace where I’m at. I’m blessed for sure.”
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