While Stephon Gilmore’s release from the New England Patriots on Wednesday came as a shock, it was less so when the news dropped on Tuesday that the Dallas Cowboys were releasing Jaylon Smith.

Smith was let go by the Cowboys in a move that may have been a surprise to some if only because it occurred during the season.

Smith’s role had severely diminished with the Cowboys as he fell out of favor in Dan Quinn’s defense. 2021 first-round pick Micah Parsons has taken over the main role and Keanu Neal is expected back soon after switching from safety to linebacker in the offseason. Even with Neal out against the Carolina Panthers in Week 4, Smith only played 28 snaps for Dallas.

Live and breathe the NFL?

🚨 Get viral NFL graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

The drop off in production for the 2016 second-round pick has been glaring and perhaps a change of scenery is what Smith needed. Still, it’s hard not to notice the dip in his coverage skills and pursuit to the ball carrier instincts over the last couple of seasons.

In the reduced role this year with the Cowboys, Smith played pretty well but he was getting starting inside linebacker money. The move to release Smith didn’t save Dallas much of anything financially, they just knew it was time to move on.

There should be plenty of interest in Smith as the name carries recognition alone. But for anyone expecting him to come in and save an inside linebacker group should proceed with some caution as those days may be behind Smith for now.