Dallas Cowboys: Jaylon Smith was released for two big reasons

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /

In a surprise move last night, the Dallas Cowboys released former Pro Bowl linebacker Jaylon Smith. The move sent shockwaves through Cowboys Nation, catching both his fans and his detractors off-guard.

Speculation as to why they did it, and why they did it when they did it, has run rampant, but two reason stand out above all the others – money and football.

Jaylon Smith is not a good football player. There’s no other way to put it. Despite winning Pro Bowl honors only two seasons ago, he’s really only had one positive season and that happened back in 2018 (ironically NOT his Pro Bowl season). Jaylon cashed in on that season, signing a contract extension in August of 2019 and he’s never looked the same since.

Jaylon Smith was cut from the Dallas Cowboys because he was bad at football and cost too much money

Whether that’s coincidence or calculated really doesn’t matter. The Dallas Cowboys grew weary of his play, his questionable leadership, and his over-all lack of accountability. “Watch the film” he once told critics under the delusion the film would somehow exonerate him. It did not.

while we make this personal, having been arguing over Jaylon Smith for some time now, this wasn’t a personal move. It was about money and football.

We now know the Dallas Cowboys have been trying to get out from Jaylon’s contract for some time now. Sadly no trade partners materialized this past offseason as teams were found to be unimpressed with his gaudy tackle totals and likely concerned with his quality of play, physical limitations, and complete lack of gap responsibility.

The anti-Jaylon crowd had grown quickly and this offseason they seemed to be as big as the pro-Jaylon crowd. The two factions of Cowboys Nation have been at odds, and the Cowboys were staying tight-lipped on the whole issue, leading us to all wonder what they really thought of their 26-year-old MIKE.

Actions have a way of being louder than words so when Dallas released him everyone seemed to know what they thought of him. But while we as fans make this personal, having been arguing over Jaylon Smith for some time now, this wasn’t a personal move. This wasn’t a “message sent” to the team or anything like that. It was about football and money.

We discussed the football portion and whether Jaylon-stans want to accept it or not, the negative evaluation in his play has been confirmed by the club.

It’s safe to say if he was making the veteran’s minimum this wouldn’t have happened. Not now and not like this. If Smith was a cheaper player without injury protections in his contract, the Cowboys would have likely cut him right after the 2021 NFL Draft when they essentially replaced him with Micah Parsons and Jabril Cox.

But coming off offseason surgery they really couldn’t do that because of his current contract. They had to get him on the field and prove he was healthy because if he failed an offseason physical again in 2022, they’d be on the hook for another $9.2 million and another season.

The Dallas Cowboys needed to cut bait when Jaylon was healthy. Which they just did. They didn’t want to risk him getting “not healthy” at any point down the road because the financial ramifications were severe. Hence the sudden timing of this all.

If Jaylon was playing at 2018 levels he’d still be on the roster. If Jaylon was making veterans minimum he would have been gone before the season began. This was about money AND football and nothing else.

Must Read. Preseason Primer: Does Jaylon Smith still have a spot on the Cowboys?. light

It’s a new day for Jaylon. Hopefully he can take this as a motivating force in yet another comeback story. As a Notre Dame fan (yeah, I know) and Cowboys fan, I wish him nothing but the best and so should everyone else. It’s a chapter closed and a possible distraction removed. Let’s get back to building a contender…