No. 9 happens to be a significant number in Cowboys history. Tony Romo, the club’s all-time leading passer, wore 9 his entire 14-year career, and it hasn’t been worn by a Cowboys player since he left after the 2016 season.
Smith said he hasn’t yet connected with Romo about the jersey switch but wants to build on that tradition.
“It’s a blessing and an honor to carry on the 9 legacy,” he said. “Tony Romo did an amazing job of just being elite and put together great success for a Cowboys franchise. As you know, new players coming in are always getting an opportunity to sometimes carry on legacy. And that’s an opportunity that the Jones family granted me with wearing No. 9.”
2021 is a new look for Smith, and for the entire linebacker room. The Cowboys signed veteran Keanu Neal in free agency, drafted former Penn State star Micah Parsons with the 12th overall pick and selected former LSU starter Jabril Cox in the fourth round. With Sean Lee retiring, the 25-year-old Smith and Leighton Vander Esch (25) are suddenly the longest-tenured linebackers on the roster.
It’s a major influx of talent, and it’ll be interesting to see how the snaps are distributed when the season starts. But Smith says he’s looking forward to working with the new group, and he actually became friends with Parsons well before the draft.
“He’s a great guy and also a dominant…