FRISCO, Texas – In the 2016-2017 Fiesta Bowl Jaylon Smith suffered a knee injuring tearing both his ACL and MCL ligaments, which caused severe damage to the main nerve in his leg. He was told he may never play another down of football and his projection in the NFL draft did not look promising for the star Notre Dame LB.
The Dallas Cowboys were not fazed by his condition and took a chance by drafting Smith 34th overall in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft. His nerve regenerated and he was once again on the field, but this time in silver and blue as a professional athlete. He overcame his adversity and played a key role in the Cowboy’s defense this season. He ended the season with 81 tackles, two-forced fumbles, and a sack in six games after he was cleared to start.
He was rightfully awarded the team’s 2017 Ed Block Courage Award by his teammates. This honor is awarded to an NFL player who “ exemplifies commitments to the principals of sportsmanship and courage” annually after a vote by members of each NFL team. After coming back from such a gruesome injury and performing the way he did on and off the field, there is no one more deserving on the Dallas Cowboys roster.
To put into action his favorite phrase “Clear Eye View,” Smith teamed up with YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne in partnership with Parkview Sports Med in August 2017 to help battle childhood obesity through his new program “Active Science” to be an example to young kids of what they are capable of with hard work and determination. Jaylon Smith has overcome insurmountable odds but he kept his faith and he wants to teach young children fighting obesity that they can do the same. It is just the beginning for Cowboy’s LB Jaylon Smith.
Brianna Dix graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Communications. She is a reporter, writer, host, and avid sports fan with a passion for sports.