This moment has been long awaited by Cowboys nation. Seeing Jaylon Smith participate in football activities for the first time since the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. Smith was a projected top five selection in the 2016 Draft prior to the nerve injury in his leg. Some thought he would never be able to play football again, but the Cowboys took a chance on the ultra-talented linebacker. Smith has also confirmed that he will be on the field for the 2017 season opener against the Giants. The leap of faith made in 2015 looks to be paying off.

Smith added that he is able to do everything he was able to do before the injury, and that he feels amazing. After steadily increasing his workload since the 2016 season ended, the goal of participating in OTAs has now been reached. He will continue to work on a specific timetable for the foreseeable future.

Cowboys coaches have had nothing but good things to say about Smith this offseason. They are just happy to see him out there in the first place, while maintaining the ‘one day at a time’ mindset.

Some will have forgotten just how good Smith is as a player though. Missing the entire season after you’re drafted will do the trick. Sure, he still hasn’t played a down in the NFL yet, but his talent and potential still remain. Smith’s mobility may be lacking for a bit, so I’m expecting him to line up on the inside with Pro Bowler Sean Lee next to him. All the tools still remain for the linebacker to be a star in the pros. Strength and instinct alone give him the ability to run stop and play in coverage.

If all works out as planned for the Cowboys, they could possibly have the best defensive player of the 2016 draft class. That may sound crazy now, but Jaylon Smith is no joke.

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