Did the Cowboys try to trade Jaylon Smith during the draft?

It wasn’t long ago that the Dallas Cowboys possessed one of the most talented and youngest linebacker duos in the NFL. That after having Leighton Vander Esch earn a Pro Bowl nomination as a rookie in 2018 and Jaylon Smith getting his own All-Star nod the year after.

Yet, despite both Smith and Vander Esch being just 25-years old, the Cowboys opted to acquire their potential replacements in the 2021 NFL Draft last month. That after Dallas traded back in the first round and selected Penn State’s Micah Parsons 12th overall. Then they used their first pick on day three to draft LSU’s Jabril Cox in the fourth round.

Despite the Pro Bowl bid in 2019 and having recorded the second-most total tackles (154) in the NFL last season, Smith’s declining play has been a lingering issue. And Vander Esch has struggled to stay healthy since his stellar rookie year, missing a combined 13 games over the past two seasons.

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