Smith struggled a lot in 2020 but Hill says the coaching staff is optimistic he’ll be much better in the new defensive scheme in 2021.
Had Dallas designated Smith a June 1 cut, the Cowboys could have saved $7.2 million in 2021 while creating $2.6 million in dead money. He just signed a five-year extension in 2019.
Smith, 25, was a second-round pick by the Cowboys out of Notre Dame in the 2016 NFL Draft. He signed a four-year, $6,494,970 rookie contract.
Smith was headed into his fourth season when he signed a five-year, $64 million extension in 2019.
In 2020, Smith appeared in all 16 games for the Cowboys and recorded 154 total tackles, five tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, one interception and five pass defenses. Pro Football Focus rated him as the No. 45 overall linebacker out of 83 qualifiers.