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Jaylon Smith starred at Notre Dame from 2013-2015, taking home the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker in 2015. He was a projected top-10 and perhaps a top-five pick in the 2016 NFL Draft before suffering a devastating knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl.
Smith fell to the second round when the Dallas Cowboys selected him 34th overall. Although he missed that 2016 season while rehabbing his knee, Smith has recorded 498 combined tackles while playing in 16 games each of the last four seasons.
Smith has worn jersey number 54 his entire time with the Cowboys but that’s all changing in 2021 as he’s switching back to the same number he wore while starring at Notre Dame, which happens to be the same as Dallas legend Tony Romo, number nine.
Nine is undoubtedly a cooler looking number on a jersey than 54 but I’m glad that’s Smith’s money and not mine.
The NFL recently changed its rule regarding jersey numbers by position, allowing Smith and others to wear numbers they never would have previously worn.
Smith and the Cowboys are coming off a disappointing 2020 season where they went just 6-10.