Cowboys vague on LB Smith’s release as players move forward

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Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, right, makes a point with linebackers Jaylon Smith (9), Micah Parsons and others during during NFL football practice in Frisco, Texas, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/LM Otero)


FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys are moving on from linebacker Jaylon Smith without getting into the specifics of the decision to release their leading returning tackler four games into 2021. One of the factors was a looming $9.2 million guarantee on Smith’s 2022 salary if he got injured. Smith’s production and impact have been on the decline. But the Cowboys are risking an interruption to their fast start to the season by releasing a popular player. Smith recovered from a knee injury in college that sidelined him as a rookie to become one of the team’s most durable players.

Ben Scharnberg