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Smith Hopes Versatility Equals Playing Time

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    NEWSLETTERS

    When Dallas drafted DeAngelo Smith out of Cincinnati, they did so with the hope that they could groom the hard hitting college-corner as a safety, a project that began this summer and has continued through camp. However, a couple of injuries at the cornerback position may have changed plans to some degree.

    Now, Smith is seeing time at corner, safety and nickel, working overtime to cement his place in the minds of the staff.

    "I'm just having fun but I got to be prepared for all three positions," Smith said. "If something happens, I got to be ready to go. The more hats you wear, the better you are, and just knowing the position at the same time. Just because you wear the hats don't mean that you know it. So I got to learn the techniques and just learn how to do it."

    Smith has ample help in this regard, taking notes from two Pro Bowlers, Ken Hamlin at safety, and Terence Newman at corner.

    "I came up to him like 'T, can you help me out with the corner techniques and everything since I'm going back and forth?' And he said 'yeah man, we can do this every day, I got nothing but time.' He's just been helping me out. At safety, I've got Ken Hamlin helping me out in the film room. When I'm playing safety, he's right behind me, in my ear like 'D, you got to do it like this or you got to do it like that.'"

    This all-for-one, one-for-all approach will contribute, hopefully, to an improved secondary, a facet that has been suspect for Dallas over the last few seasons. Smith, along with college teammate Mike Mickens, are just two of a slew of rookies expected by the team to make a near-immediate impact. In this scenario, Smith sees opportunity to mature quickly in an ultra-competitive environment.

    "I mean, two good veterans, and they're willing to help," Smith said. "And it just shows they're just trying to make this team a better team."