FRISCO, Texas — Cowboys receiver Devin Smith says the moment was surreal. He was on the receiving end of a 51-yard bomb from Dak Prescott that changed the momentum in the Cowboys 31-21 win over Washington Sunday at FedEx Field.
"It means a lot, just everything I’ve been through,” said Smith, "You know [I] had doubts if I’d ever be able to play again.”
Smith is resurrecting a career that was on life support. The 2015 second-round pick has suffered a pair of ACL tears and was out of football completely in 2018.
Despite being so low he says he didn’t want to leave his house last year, he fought back, announcing his return in a big way.
"That play, the big long touchdown was a huge play in the game,” said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. "That kinda shifted the momentum of the game and got us going on both sides of the ball."
Smith's teammates say they’re thrilled to see his perseverance pay off with his breakthrough performance. And a pair of them, both Cowboys stars, say they’re not surprised at all. They’ve seen it before, firsthand.
"He was a phenomenal player in college,” says Cowboys running back Zeke Elliott. "We played together at Ohio State, won a national championship together."
In fact, Smith and Elliott's Buckeyes beat Amari Cooper’s Alabama team in 2015 en route to that national title.
"I played him my last year at Bama when he was at Ohio St. and that’s what he was doing to us,” says Cooper, "so I know what he’s capable of and it’s nice to see him be able to do that in a Cowboys uniform.”
Meanwhile, the cool moments just keep coming. Like when Smith was conducting an interview in the Cowboys locker room at FedEx field after the game and Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett interrupted him with a nice slap on the back asking, “What’s up,” with a big smile on his face. Laughter ensued from Smith and the group of media members gathered around him.
And now with fellow receiver Michael Gallup out for up to a month with a meniscus injury, there’s more opportunity to come.
"You know when I got this call to be with this team I just tried to take advantage of every opportunity I was given, and now here I am now standing in front of all these cameras,” said Smith with a few more chuckles.
And with the way he’s playing he just might want to get used to it.