Smith could serve as a full-time middle linebacker for the Cowboys during the upcoming season, Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News reports.

The 2016 second-round pick sat out his entire rookie season while recovering from a major knee injury that caused nerve damage to his leg. He then worked in a part-time role for the majority of last season, with Sean Lee and Anthony Hitchens getting most of the snaps when the Cowboys used their nickel defense. Smith nonetheless managed to pile up 81 tackles, two forced fumbles and a sack in 16 games, likely setting him up for a larger role in 2018 after Hitchens signed with the Chiefs in March. A three-down role still shouldn't be assumed, considering Smith struggled in coverage last season and may never fully regain the elite athleticism he displayed at Notre Dame. The Cowboys could even move Smith to strong-side linebacker -- which likely would translate to more of a two-down role -- if they procure a viable alternative for the inside job. Smith will be an intriguing IDP option if emerges from training camp with an every-down gig.

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