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NFL Notes: Cowboys, Dolphins, Saints

Cowboys

Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones explained that they still have to ease LB Jaylon Smith back into things because of the fatigue factor.

“I think his baseline is where he can play football, so now we’ve just got to ease him into it because there’s fatigue,” Jones said, via Todd Archer of ESPN. “That’s obvious when you don’t have a muscle that’s had nerves to it for as long as his did. Then it fatigues easier. And so you’ve got to build that up over time and do it the right way so that we don’t have any issues there. Then at the same time give him the reps that he’s getting comfortable with. I think his baseline health is at a point where he could play. It’s just getting him in that football shape and doing things the right way.”

Jones added that they’re still taking things week-to-week with Smith right now.

“No need to jump ahead and make a decision on whether it’s this week or next week or whatever it may be,”  Jones said. “We’ll just kind of see how he progresses this week, see how he responds. The big thing about Jaylon so far is that it seems to be better every time he goes out there. He’s more and more comfortable with it. At the same time, if you left it up to him, he’d be going every play out there in the Hall of Fame Game. So we’ve got to protect Jaylon, at the end of the day, from Jaylon.

“He’s going to be around here for many, many years to come and we’ve got to handle this the right way for him.

Dolphins

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes that it won’t be surprising if the Dolphins don’t sign WR Jarvis Landry to an extension this season.

The Dolphins’ cap space was just reduced by $10 million after they signed QB Jay Cutler to a one-year deal, which means this money won’t be available to be carried over into 2018.

According to Salguero, another reason why an extension for Landry is unlikely is that the Dolphins aren’t motivated to start negotiations. Salguero mentions that Landry has been practicing as if he has something to prove to the Dolphins and Miami appear to be loving this.

The last issue brought up by Salguero is that there’s a feeling outside the team that the Dolphins would be “foolish” to reward Landry when he’s still under investigation for a possible battery of his ex-girlfriend.

Saints

Coming out of college, veteran LB Manti Te’o was the victim of a “catfishing” hoax in which he believed he had a long-distance girlfriend who died of leukemia before it was revealed that she didn’t exist.

Te’o explained that it took him years to get over what happened.

“You know, that was something that I had to get over. And it lingered for years,” said Te’o, via ESPN.com.

Once he had gotten past all of that, Te’o suffered an Achilles injury last season.

And that was why Year 4 in the NFL was such a big year, because it was the first year that I felt that I was free,” Te’o said. “And I felt great. And I was just playing the way I wanted to play. And then another adverse situation came along.

And I think a lot of people look at adversity and they shy away from it or they look at it as a thing that’s too hard. But I’ve learned through all my times of adversity that it makes me and molds me into the man that I need to be. And I’m grateful for it. Because without it, I wouldn’t be as appreciative of the things that I do have now.