3 Dallas Cowboys expected to rebound big in 2020

Leighton Vander Esch #55 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Leighton Vander Esch #55 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
3 of 3
dallas cowboys
Jaylon Smith #54 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys Player to Rebound No. 3

Jaylon Smith, LB

Leighton Vander Esch wasn’t the only linebacker who had a disappointing 2019 season, newly re-signed Jaylon Smith was bummer sandwich himself. After breaking out in 2018, Jaylon signed a early extension to stay a Cowboy through his prime years. What looked like a sweetheart deal at the time, ended up looking like a disaster midway through the 2019 season.

Jaylon gambled more in 2019 than he did in his breakout season and seemed to lose those gamble more often than he won. Call it lack of preparedness or coasting under a new deal, but Jaylon just didn’t look right most of the season.

As the season wore on, Jaylon played better. He eventually elevated his play and finished the season ranked as Pro Football Focus’ 18th rated linebacker (down from 6th the season before, though).

Why Jaylon Smith will rebound

Besides improving significantly as the season wore on, Jaylon also seemed to gamble less and diagnose plays more consistently. His regained focus was apparent and he was able to overcome some of his change-of-direction limitations.

More from Dallas Cowboys

Speaking of his change-of-direction limitations, Jaylon is probably never going to regain his pre-injury ability. As such, playing MIKE is always going to be recipe for disaster. Luckily for him the Dallas Cowboys are planning to move him to a role where his limitations will be hidden and his strengths are featured.

As a splash play machine, Jaylon is at his best running downhill and attacking. If the reports are correct, Smith will be making a move to OLB in 2020 where he’ll be able to do just that – attack.

Whether that’s at WILL or SAM remains to be seen, but both situations will put him in position make plays in the backfield and with an increased team-wide blitz-rate, Smith figures to benefit greatly from the position change.

Related Story. 3 Reasons Jaylon Smith's move to OLB is a wise one. light

Next. 3 ways the Cowboys can afford Jamal Adams without cap hell. dark

These are three Dallas Cowboys primed for a bounce-back season in 2020. If they can, the Cowboys will be title contenders. If not, be prepared for more disappointment..