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Jaylon Describes How Cowboys Found Their Identity


When this month began, the Cowboys were all but buried in the NFC East standings.

Not only did they need to do something they hadn't done all year and win consecutive games, but they had to get some outside help from other teams.

All of that has happened, but the work isn't done yet.

Still, linebacker Jaylon Smith said there's a reason why the Cowboys have turned things around.

"Coach (McCarthy) told us day one, 'You want to be playing your best ball at the end of the season,'" Smith said. "We just got to keep going and focus one day at a time, one game at a time. We believe in ourselves. We found our identity. We just got to keep focusing on us, that's it."

Asked to be more specific, Smith detailed what the team's identity is.

"That identity is an electric-ass offense. An offense that… man, when they're rolling, no one can stop them," Smith said. "We got three-to-four-to-five guys that you can throw the ball that can get open. You got guys—multiple guys that run the ball, play with tenacity."

And that's just the offensive side of the ball. Smith said he's starting to see the defense take shape as well.

"And for us on the defensive end it's about toughness. It's about stopping the run. It's about getting off the field on third down," Smith said. "We got guys that know how to rush the passer, but we have to give them the opportunity to be able to rush the passer. And that's up to me and the rest of the linebackers. We just got to continue to fight. The secondary is doing a hell of a job… got a rhythm, got a clear understanding of what's going on."

Smith said it's not just the offense or the defense, but mentioned the fans as well – collectively trying to will this team into the postseason.

"For us, we just got to stay patient," he said. "We've got to keep working on ourselves individually and as a team, and very thankful for our fan base for continuing to ride with us."

Smith is the Cowboys' leading tackler with 152. After recording 168 last year, Smith is the first Cowboys linebacker since Sean Lee (2015-16) to lead the team in tackles two straight years with at least 150 stops.

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