Devin Smith is a true feel good story about perseverance and following your dream. All that is left for him now is to make the Dallas Cowboys’ final roster.
After three preseason games, wide receiver Devin Smith is leading the team in receptions and receiving yards. His story reminds me of another wide receiver the Dallas Cowboys drafted who had the same last name.
In 1992, the Dallas Cowboys drafted wide receiver Jimmy Smith 36th overall in the second round. With the 37th pick in the draft, Dallas selected safety Darren Woodson, who is Hall of Fame worthy but that is a story for another time.
Jimmy Smith played seven games for the Cowboys in 1992 earning a Super Bowl ring and then missed the 1993 season due to complications from appendicitis. The team would release him in the summer of 1994.
He signed with the Eagles in 1994 but did not make the team. He missed the entire 1994 season but would go on to sign with Jacksonville in 1995 and play eleven seasons for the Jaguars amassing 862 receptions for 12,287 yards. He made the Pro Bowl five straight seasons from 1997 through 2001 and even led the NFL in receptions in 1999 with 116.
Wide receiver Devin Smith was born two months before the Cowboys drafted Jimmy Smith. He too was a second round draft pick selected by the New York Jets with the 37th pick of the 2015 NFL Draft.
He played in ten games his rookie season before suffering a torn ACL. He rehabbed his knee and came back his second season to play in four games.
He would tear the same ACL in the 2017 offseason and be waived injured and spent the year on injured reserve. The Jets waived him in July 2018 and he would miss the entire season without any team taking a chance on him.
The Cowboys signed Smith to a reserve/future contract on January 18, 2019. Devin has taken this opportunity and has made it very difficult for the Cowboys to cut him. He certainly will not make it through waivers and will be an impossibility for the practice squad.
It is premature to compare Devin Smith’s potential to Jimmy Smith’s career but with both missing two years early in their careers and both being drafted in the second round it is hard to not draw a parallel. Cowboys fans can only hope that Devin Smith finds a way to catch 800 to 900 balls over the next eleven seasons.