Cowboys Select Talented, Injured LB in Second Round

In the second round of the draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith, considered a top-10 pick before injuring his knee.

Smith started for the Fighting Irish since his freshman year in 2013. During his next two seasons, he notched 226 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 7 passes defended and two forced fumbles and became widely regarded as one of the country's most versatile defenders.

After last season, Smith was named a consensus All-America and semifinalist for the Bednarik Award (best defender), the Butkus Award (best linebacker) and Lott IMPACT Trophy (best defender).

Smith fell to the second round because of concerns about his knee. He tore his ACL and LCL in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. He reportedly underwent successful surgery performed by a Cowboys' team doctor.

"Absolutely," the 2015 first-team AP All-America said when asked if he could play this season.

An emotional Smith raised his hands over his head and covered his face while on the phone with the Cowboys after they drafted him. Family members and friends were equally ecstatic.

"It's been the most challenging time of my life, but at the same time it's been the best time of my life where my dream has just come true," said Smith. "I've been wanting to play in the NFL since I was 7 years old."

In a scouting profile, we reported that Smith has great potential. If he fully recovers from his injury, he has the ability to become a player like current Chiefs LB and former Texas Longhorn Derrick Johnson.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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