Packers shore up defense, reportedly sign Jaylon Smith after surprise release from Cowboys

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Another veteran is joining Aaron Rodgers in what could be his final season with the Green Bay Packers. The team will reportedly finalize a deal with former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith on Thursday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Smith — who was surprisingly released by the Cowboys on Tuesday — didn't sit on the market for long. He reportedly wanted to sign with the Packers, and had conversations with the team Wednesday. 

The Cowboys released Smith, 26, after just four games. Smith started every game from 2018 to 2020, racking up 254 solo tackles over that period, and made the Pro Bowl in 2019.

Smith only started two of the team's games this season. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy didn't reveal much about the decision, calling Smith's release a "big picture" move.

If Smith can still produce as a starter, he should help shore up a Packers defense that has allowed at least 17 points in every game this season. 

Packers looking strong after awful Week 1

The Packers have rebounded in a big way after getting destroyed 38-3 by the New Orleans Saints in Week 1. Green Bay has won its last three games, and Rodgers has played like his normal self in those wins. 

Offensive production has never been a problem with Rodgers under center, so a stronger defense would go a long way as Rodgers continues what is expected to be his final season in Green Bay. Smith isn't the only veteran brought in to help bring another championship to Green Bay. The Packers also traded for Randall Cobb during the offseason.

After a slow start, Cobb emerged as a threat in Week 4, catching five passes for 69 yards and two touchdowns. The Packers will hope Smith can make a similar impact on the defensive side once he settles in.

Jaylon Smith will reportedly sign with the Packers. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Jaylon Smith will reportedly sign with the Packers. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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