Smith hopes to play without a knee brace during the 2018 season, Kate Hairopoulos of The Dallas Morning News reports.

Smith recently parted ways with an Ankle Foot Orthosis foot brace that had been used as part of his broader recovery process from the career-threatening knee injury he suffered in his final collegiate game with Notre Dame in January 2016. After sitting out his rookie season with the Cowboys, Smith returned to play all 16 games in 2017 while sporting the brace, accruing 81 tackles, two forced fumbles and a sack. Even if he's still stuck with the brace when Week 1 of the upcoming season kicks off, the mere notion that Smith might be able to play without any extra stabilization offers encouragement that the leg won't be a recurring issue for the youngster throughout his career.

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