Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith on new deal: 'It will happen'


The Dallas Cowboys are working through a good problem: figuring out how to pay too many good players.

Amari Cooper, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott top the list of contracts Jerry Jones must figure out how to get done. Down the line, questions of how the Cowboys will keep their young corps together could become more difficult. What about Byron Jones? What about Jaylon Smith?

As far as the 24-year-old linebacker, Smith isn't fretting his eventual payday, telling SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday that he's focused only on the 2019 campaign.

"It's definitely a reality. At some point, the elite players have to receive their investment," Smith said. "For me, it's just about embracing the season I'm in. My redshirt year, when I was recovering (from injury), I embraced it. My first year back, I wasn't 100 percent, but I gave it all I got, learned every week. I embraced that season. Last season was a phenomenal year of returning to the elite player that I am, I embraced it.

"When it's time for Jerry [Jones] to cut the check, it will happen, you know, but I just got to embrace where I'm at. I'm blessed for sure."

Smith missed his entire rookie season due to a devastating knee injury suffered at Notre Dame, giving him just two accrued years entering 2019. The Cowboys could try to get a deal done this season hoping the linebacker might take a team-friendly contract to get his payday sooner rather than work through the process.

Last year, Smith was finally healthy and proved Dallas was right to believe he could return to the form that would have likely made him a top-10 draft pick if it weren't for the injury. Smith boasts the range, speed, coverage ability and surefire tackling perfect for a linebacker in today's game. Teaming with Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys sport the top young LB duo in the NFL.

Paying all the young talent will likely take salary-cap gymnastics from the Cowboys, but right now it's a good problem to have entering the 2019 season.