Jaylon Smith addresses reason Cowboys cut him
In a somewhat surprising move earlier this week, the Dallas Cowboys released linebacker Jaylon Smith — a 2016 second-round pick out of Notre Dame and one-time Pro Bowler.
The reason why Dallas cut Smith quickly became evident, however.
Despite owing him $7.2 million, the Cowboys made the decision based on Smith’s 2022 salary. He was owed $9.2 million, which would have become fully guaranteed had he remained on the roster as of March 20, 2022. But even beyond that, Smith had an injury guarantee.
Said guarantee stated that if Smith couldn’t pass the team’s physical leading up to March 20, 2022, they would still have to pay him the $9.2 million. So rather than risking it this season, Dallas opted to eat the dead cap space and move on.
It was a business decision and one Smith understood in the end.
Jaylon Smith on why he and the Cowboys parted ways: "Nothing other than business. It's the National Football League. I'm just blessed and thankful to be able to play at the place I wanted to play, and that's with the Green Bay Packers."
What kind of player are you now?
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 8, 2021
Smith signed a one-year contract with the Green Bay Packers shortly after his Cowboys release. And if he plays at the “elite” level he expects of himself, it’s likely that the Packers sign Smith to a long-term deal following the conclusion of the season.