Jaylon Smith prepares for his first official NFL game

Jaylon Smith prepares for his first official NFL game

Via DallasCowboys.com Some people thought Sunday night would never happen for Jaylon Smith.

Some thought the devastating knee injury and nerve damage Smith suffered in his final college game on New Year’s Day 2016 might prevent him from playing another game, period.

As Smith readies for his long-awaited NFL regular-season debut Sunday night against the New York Giants, he won’t take any of it for granted.

But he’s also focused on the present. After all, Sunday night is just the beginning.

“I believe with what I went through and the magnitude of it, it’ll always be with me,” he said. “But for me, I’m focused on nothing but being successful.”

Smith back enjoying the on-field camaraderie with his teammates. And throughout this process, he’s been grateful for the entire organization’s support, including Dr. Dan Cooper, the Cowboys’ team physician who performed Smith’s surgery in 2016, and Britt Brown, the Cowboys’ associate athletic trainer who oversaw his rehab.

Smith said he got more and more comfortable in training camp practice and preseason games. His teammates can see it, too.

“It’s been unbelievable what he’s been able to do,” linebacker Sean Lee said. “Being out there with him I’m extremely comfortable. The type of work he’s put in to come back, what he looked like in OTA’s, what he looked like in training camp, he’s ready to play. I’m excited to be out there with him, excited to make plays with him.”