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10/18/17 - LB Jaylon Smith leads the team in tackles with 54, but he is expected to be replaced in the starting lineup by Anthony Hitchens. Smith has no tackles for loss, only one quarterback pressure and no pass deflections.
10/02/17 - LB Jaylon Smith led the Cowboys with 10 tackles against the Rams and continues to be the season-long tackles leader after missing last season with a college knee injury. But the numbers don't tell all the story as Smith has largely been a liability on defense, making most of his tackles down the field.
10/01/17 - LB Jaylon Smith led the team in tackles with 10 in the absence of LB Sean Lee (hamstring).
09/01/17 - LB Justin Durant and Jaylon Smith will likely share the starting job in place of the injured Anthony Hitchens at middle linebacker. Durant was signed before training camp as insurance for Damien Wilson. He is a part-time player this point in his career and will likely play on passing downs. Smith is coming off a knee injury of his own. The Cowboys are being deliberate with him. He is likely a first- and second-down player.
08/21/17 - LB Jaylon Smith made his professional debut against the Colts on Saturday, playing only 12 snaps. But he made a third down stop for his first tackle in 596 days.
Smith endured a long journey back to football. He was out of game action for almost 19 months after sustaining a severe knee injury in Notre Dame's bowl game on Jan. 1, 2016. Smith tore the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee. Damage to the peroneal nerve was more problematic.
08/07/17 - LB Jaylon Smith is inching closer to getting back on the field after a horrific leg injury.
Smith is healthy enough to play football, according to Dallas executive vice president Stephen Jones, but the Cowboys will remain painstakingly deliberate in how they bring him along after he missed all of last season because of an ACL tear and significant nerve damage in his left leg.
Smith didn't play last week in the preseason opener in the Hall of Fame game against the Arizona Cardinals. The team has yet to decide if he will play in the second preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday.
Jones said there have been no setbacks in Smith's recovery, adding that there are signs that the linebacker will soon play in a game.
"We are seeing how he progresses," Jones said.
"No need to jump ahead and make a decision whether it's this week or next week. We will see how he progresses this week and see how he responds. ... The time will come when we decide has he had enough to put him in a game situation against the Rams."
07/24/17 - LB Jaylon Smith is practicing with the Cowboys after missing all of last season with a knee injury suffered in his final football game at Notre Dame.
Smith will still be limited, but he is excited and ready to go, just as is owner Jerry Jones who compared him to watching a No. 1 draft pick for the first time.
"It feels great," Smith said Monday. "Last year I was kind of a spectator just in the beginning stages of rehab. Now I'm in the mix and playing football.
"The plan is to work hard and every day. It varies as far as the scheduling. I'm just doing everything that they allow me to do."
Smith said his latest EMG test showed improvement in the nerve regeneration.
What are the next steps?
"Just constant growth," Smith said. "Everything we've done we've started off slowly and gradually progressed, and it's always gotten better. I don't anticipate that stopping."
He said he has no limitations, but just rust.
"When you take a year off there's some little work, ins and outs that you have to get back used to coming off an injury, but I feel like myself," Smith said.
While Jones is hoping for the best, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli doesn't know what to expect.
"No, other than I know he's a very talented and terrific college football player," Marinelli said. "I know his talent level, his character and how much he works at it. The next step is to start to get in Wednesday. He's never been in an NFL practice. This will be his first chance. I just take everything day by day, see how he does progress and give him a little bit more each day, and just coach him, coach him."
11/22/16 - LB Jaylon Smith has been activated off the non-football injury list, but it's still unknown whether the second-round pick may be able to play this season. But the Cowboys at least wanted to keep that option open. Smith sustained a severe knee injury that included nerve damage in his final bowl game at Notre Dame. That dropped him from a projected top-10 pick into the second round. The nerve in his knee has yet to regenerate and his routine is not expected to change. If it does start firing, the Cowboys will have the option to use him. With this move, the Cowboys now have a 21-day window to see whether Smith could realistically play this season or not. In three weeks, they'll decide whether to promote him to the 53-man roster, or keep him on non-football injury for the remainder of the season.
07/31/16 - RB Darren McFadden (fractured elbow) and LBs Damien Wilson (eye) and Jaylon Smith (knee) are opening camp on the non-football injury list. Wilson is on the list because he got hit in the eye with a paint ball.
06/16/16 - LB Jaylon Smith is still likely to sit out the season rehabbing his surgically repaired knee. But he says he is noticing improvement.
"I'm just grinding each and every day, controlling what I can control. Once I'm healthy and I'm cleared, I'll be back out there," said Smith, the second-round pick from Notre Dame. "Everything I do, I have a clear-eye view, a focused vision, a determination, so getting back out there is my No. 1 goal. It's definitely testing my patience, and I'm loving it."