Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith hasn’t yet played a regular-season snap, but wide receiver Michael Irvin believes that he’ll end up in the Hall of Fame.
Irvin was at the team facility on Monday, where the Cowboys where holding a Ring of Honor ceremony. He’s already in the Hall of Fame, as well, and he is one of the most prolific wideouts in team history. Naturally, people wanted to know which current players he thought would eventually get into that Ring of Honor.
“As I talk through journeys and end results, I can’t wait until you see Jaylon Smith here one day,” said Irvin, per Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. “I still have his card from the day I drafted him, and I showed him that card. I said ‘I’m going to hold this until you walk into Canton, Ohio, baby, and then I’m going to ask you to autograph it. I want you to remember this moment because I drafted you and I’m going to hold this card until you walk into Canton, Ohio.’
“I do believe one day he will walk into Canton, Ohio. He will walk in this Ring [of Honor]. But he will walk in that Hall [of Fame].”
That’s bold, but there is some basis for it. Before he blew out his left knee at Notre Dame, Smith was considered a top-5 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, one of the best linebackers in the country. The raw talent is there. He fell to the second round of the draft simply because teams didn’t know if he’d fully recover and ever be able to capitalize on that talent.
It’s clear that Irvin has faith that he will come back and become the elite linebacker he was once projected to be.
Smith isn’t the only current player Irvin likes. He also said that the Ring of Honor would eventually include former quarterback Tony Romo, current quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott, wide receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten.