Jaylon may not be a defensive lineman, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a pass-rusher. His scouting report out of Notre Dame named him dominant in the pass-rushing department both inside and outside. Last season, Smith boasted a staggering 27.8 percent win rate as a pass-rusher (PFF).
Whether he’s used as a blitzer or as a 4th rusher out of a 3-3-5, Smith can get the job done. The only question is how many opportunities will he receive? Last season, Smith dominated opportunities at the linebackers spot, playing 89 pass-rushing snaps compared to Leighton Vander Esch’s 17 and Sean Lee’s 17.
But even if Smith is the most snap efficient pass rusher on the team, he’s going to need more than just 89 opportunities to push Crawford, Quinn, and Collins for second place. Craw played 472 pass-rush snaps, Collins 393, and Randy Gregory who had the bulk of the opportunities at RDE collected 360. If Smith doubles his pass-rushing snaps, he could double his sacks (4 in 2018) and 8 sacks might be enough to beat Collins for second place.
Here’s how I see things shaping out
Maliek Collins: 9 sacks, Jaylon Smith 6 sacks, Tyrone Crawford 5 sacks, Robert Quinn 5 sacks
What’s your prediction? Who do you see taking collecting the second-most sacks on the Dallas Cowboys this season?