The Dallas Cowboys are said to be shaking up the linebacker corps by moving Jaylon Smith from the middle to the outside. Here’s why that may prove to be a wise move
Overall, Jaylon Smith didn’t have a good year for the Dallas Cowboys last season. After coming off a stellar 2018 season and signing a long-term extension, Smith didn’t produce like he did the season before. He picked up his play as the season wore on and even progressed to be Pro Football Focus’ 18th ranked interior linebacker but by then the narrative was written for many Dallas Cowboys fans: Jaylon was a disappointment.
Reassessing the 2019 season through film review, it is clear Jaylon was still one of the most skilled players on the Dallas Cowboys defense. The problem was (besides the poor start) he was all too often exposed doing things he wasn’t particularly good at. In the same vein, he wasn’t put in position to do enough of what he really was good at.
Chances are that’s exactly what Mike Nolan and Mike McCarthy saw when they were catching up on the All-22 this winter. If they’re anything like me they probably caught themselves saying, “Why the heck are they making Jaylon do that? He should be doing ___.”
Jalyon Smith’s ability
Jaylon Smith’s well documented miracle recovery came at a cost. He can’t do all things as well as he once did well in college. Turning and chasing in coverage is clearly no longer a strength. But running downhill and crashing still is. Playing the MIKE requires a mixture of skills that promises to expose Jaylon from time to time. It makes perfect sense to move him. It’s not admitting defeat but rather putting him in position to succeed.
Today we’ll discuss the three reasons it’s wise to move Jaylon Smith outside