FRISCO (105.3 THE FAN) – When Anthony Hitchens injured his knee last weekend in a preseason win over the Raiders, Dallas Cowboys COO Stephen Jones quickly and wisely noted that Hitchens’ absence (now hopefully no more than 10 weeks) wouldn’t impact the plan for young Jaylon Smith.
But on Tuesday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones — a little less quickly and substantially less wisely — stated otherwise.
“It definitely will cause (Jaylon) to have an accelerated approach to how this year starts for him,’’ Jerry told our “Shan & RJ’’ on 105.3 The Fan. “So, yes I think it’s going to be more activity, more snaps for him right off the bat.”
This, on the surface, is obviously a terrible idea. Jaylon, who is working his way toward being a part of the 53-man roster and the 46-man active list for Week 1 against the Giants, didn’t suddenly get magically healthier just because Hitchens suddenly got unfortunately less healthy.
Jerry likes to joke in a self-effacing manner that he’s “Dr. Jones,’’ and he’ll certainly admit to an unbridled enthusiasm about Smith, the Cowboys’ surprise second-round pick in 2016 with a knee recovery that is a scientific and spiritual miracle. Jones even failed to dismiss the idea of Jaylon starting against the Giants … even though the coaching staff seems fairly set on veteran Justin Durant leapfrogging up the depth chart to be the first-teamer at middle linebacker, with Smith playing behind him.
“I think the ‘start’ word is one I’d be careful with,” said Jerry, having so much fun not being “careful’’ that he went on to note that “it could be’’ that Jaylon Smith is a first-teamer against New York.