Giants sign former Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith to practice squad

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  • Dallas Cowboys
    Dallas Cowboys
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  • Jaylon Smith
    Jaylon Smith
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Jaylon Smith in white Cowboys uniform
Jaylon Smith in white Cowboys uniform

The Giants have not been immune to the recent surge of COVID cases happening around the NFL, and on Friday they added an interesting name to rebuild some of their depth, signing former Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers linebacker Jaylon Smith to the practice squad.

Smith, 26, was a huge talent coming out of Notre Dame, where he enrolled as a five-star recruit. He won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker in 2015, but he tore his ACL and LCL in his left knee in the Fighting Irish’s Fiesta Bowl matchup with Ohio State. Though he was once considered a top five pick, he fell to No. 34 in the 2016 draft, where he was selected by Dallas. Still, he wouldn’t be able to take the field until the 2018 season as he continued his recovery.

The Cowboys gave him a four-year, $64 million deal before the 2019 season and he made the Pro Bowl that year, but his time in the NFL has never quite lived up to outside expectations. In 68 games with the Cowboys, Smith recorded 498 tackles, 9.0 sacks, two interceptions and five fumble recoveries.

After unsuccessfully trying to trade him, Dallas released Smith on Oct. 6. He signed with Green Bay the next day, but played just two games before being released again.

The Giants currently have eight players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, including linebackers Cam Brown and Oshane Ximines.

Smith could potentially provide some depth, and it also doesn’t hurt matters that the Giants are facing the Cowboys this week, a roster and coaching staff Smith knows very well.