FRISCO, Texas – Rod Marinelli and the coaching staff have been impressed with Jaylon Smith's approach to his injury rehab since getting drafted in April of last year.
Last Saturday, the Cowboys' defensive coordinator liked what he saw in Smith's first NFL game – specifically, an instinctive and physical third-down stop that forced the Colts to punt.
"Man, that was a heck of play he made on that tackle," Marinelli said. "You could see his speed. He's got natural instincts for leverage, and he's just so hungry."
Smith took approximately 12 defensive snaps against the Colts. He practiced the first two days this week at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco and sat out Wednesday. The Cowboys have given the first-year linebacker periodic rest as he acclimates to football again.
Marinelli said Smith will continue to benefit from more reps, different looks, different run fits. Saturday was a significant benchmark.
"He took another step," Marinelli said. "He took another good step."