Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Cowboys second-round LB Jaylon Smith’s nerve in his knee is regenerating and there is reason for optimism moving forward.
According to Rapoport, there is still a long way to go for Smith, but he’s slowly gaining muscle control and can now pick his toes up and lift his foot.
While this is progress for Smith, Rapoport admits that no one really knows when or if the nerve will completely return. The Cowboys have said they’re optimistic about Smith, but Dallas is reportedly minimizing expectations and know he has a ways to go.
This comes after the recent comments made by Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones last week, who mentioned that Smith is “doing great” in his return from the knee injury he suffered a few years ago.
“He’s doing great,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “He’s making great improvements. We’re more fired up than ever we picked him last year.”
Smith, 21, was taken with the No. 34 overall pick by the Cowboys last week. So much was made about the condition of Smith’s knee and how it could impact his NFL career, but the Cowboys still felt comfortable enough about his future to use their second-round pick on him.
Before he suffered the serious knee injury at end of last year, Smith was considered a to be a top-five selection. Unfortunately, it’s hard to expect him to develop into the blue-chip talent he appeared to be during college.
Smith signed a four-year contract worth $6,494,972 with the Cowboys, which includes a signing bonus of $2,923,616.
During his college career at Notre Dame, Smith recorded 284 tackles, 23.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, three recoveries and 10 pass defenses for the Fighting Irish over the course of three years.