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Cowboys and Star LB Jaylon Smith Agree to Long-Term Contract Extension

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 23: Jaylon Smith #54 of the Dallas Cowboys walks off the field after the Dallas Cowboys beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-20 at AT&T Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

While Dallas Cowboys fans were certainly hoping this would center around Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, or, perhaps most importantly, Ezekiel Elliott, this is still uplifting news for one of the best defenses in the league.

Jerry Jones and Co. have reportedly agreed to a long-term contract extension with stud linebacker Jaylon Smith.

This confirms it'll be Smith and Leighton Vander Esch manning the middle of the Cowboys' defense for years to come. The Dallas faithful must be ecstatic about that after seeing what this duo did to opposing offenses last year.

Smith, who the Cowboys took a risk on when they selected him with the 34th overall pick in the 2016 draft, truly emerged last season. He missed all of 2016 with a knee issue -- something the Cowboys knew would be the case upon drafting him -- and then he appeared in all 16 games (making six starts) in 2017. But he logged 16 starts in 2018 and registered 121 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries in a breakout campaign.

So, while the Cowboys have a lot of work to do in locking up stars on the offensive side of the ball, fans can rest easy knowing the front office is orchestrating other moves as they prepare to keep their core intact.