Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker Jaylon Smith is still trying to get back to 100% after a devastating knee injury in college that would raise a number of questions about if he could ever return to playing football again.
Smith has looked faster, improved, and has been one of the more consistent defensive performers during Cowboys’ training camp, and his coaches have taken notices.
“It’s fast,” Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer. “I mean, you can see it. His movement and everything is good, but you can see he knows what he’s doing and that really quickens you up. He’s done a great job of studying and all those things, so that is helping him look faster, and he’s getting healthier and healthier every day.”
The regeneration of the peroneal nerve has allowed Smith to play without a brace that he had to play with all last season.
“He seems more natural, more instinctive, changing direction,” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. “You have to be spontaneous when you play. You set things up and you have different responsibilities, but ultimately once the play starts, you don’t really know what’s going to happen, and the best players are able to seamlessly go from one direction to another direction and do what they need to do to make a play. We saw a lot of that in college and I think we’re seeing more and more of that now, once he’s taken that brace off.”
Marinelli has gleamed about Smith’s natural ability to get to the quarterback.
“I love it,” Smith stated. “It’s what I do. I’m very good at having that gift and we’re getting a chance to use it this year.”
Cowboys’ Travis Frederick Hoping to Play in 2019
Dallas Cowboys veteran center Travis Frederick believes that he won’t be able to make it back to the field this season, but is holding out hope that he can return to the team next season, saying he feels “very good” about his chances in 2019.
Frederick was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome before the start of the season, causing numbness in both of his arms, among other various symptoms.
“I have certainly made progress, but at this point in the season, having not been able to do my football movements. … Even if I was 100 percent strength wise to be able to come back and play. … I’m still six or eight weeks out from that,” Frederick said, during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan.
Frederick is under contract with Dallas through the 2023 season.
Cowboys’ Amari Cooper Motivated to Prove Cowboys Right
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper is coming off a tremendous performance in the team’s Thanksgiving victory over the Washington Redskins and is motivated to show the Cowboys that they were right in giving up a 1st round pick to acquire him from the Oakland Raiders earlier this season via trade.
“I don’t want to prove the Raiders wrong,” Cooper said, according to Mike Fisher of 247Sports. “I just want to prove the Cowboys right.”
Cooper has certainly left a positive impression on the organization thus far.
“Jack Del Rio told me before we made the trade, he said, ‘Just look at the Kansas City film a year ago,’” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, referencing the former Cowboys player and former Raiders head coach. “We just said to hell with it. We’re not going to do anything but throw him the ball. Just look at that, and that will show you what Amari is like. And so this (game) kind of reminded me a little of what (Del Rio) was trying to say.
Cooper has 22 catches for 349 yards and three touchdowns during his stint in Dallas.
Cowboys’ Tyron Smith Expected To Return Next Week
The Dallas Cowboys will be getting a big boost to their offensive line as they anticipate the return of offensive tackle Tyron Smith, who is projected to return to the field for next week’s game against the New Orleans Saints, according to The Athletic’s Calvin Watkins.
Smith suffered what is being called a “stinger” during last week’s win over the Atlanta Falcons.
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