Dallas Cowboys

Smith brothers among few positives in Cowboys’ Thanksgiving meltdown

Rod Smith had a team-high 41 rushing yards for the Cowboys on Thursday.
Rod Smith had a team-high 41 rushing yards for the Cowboys on Thursday. Special to the Star-Telegram

There aren’t many positive vibes coming from the Dallas Cowboys of late. After all, the team has lost three consecutive games by at least 20 points.

But the Smith brothers – linebacker Jaylon and running back Rod – were among the few highlights in the Cowboys’ 28-6 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Thanksgiving Day. Jaylon led the Cowboys in tackles and Rod led them in rushing.

Jaylon, the Cowboys’ leading tackler this season, was credited with eight tackles. He had one tackle for loss and one pass defensed.

Jaylon particularly shined when the Chargers had a first-and-goal from the Cowboys’ 7 late in the first half. He tackled running back Austin Ekeler for a loss on first down, and broke up a pass intended for tight end Antonio Gates on second down.

Los Angeles settled for a field goal.

“Jaylon did some good things in the game,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He was around the ball. He was a physical tackler sideline to sideline. He showed up. He made a number of plays on the ball.

“There’s no question he’s getting better and better.”

Jaylon played 38 of 68 defensive snaps.

His older brother, Rod, had a similar role on the offensive side, playing 34 of 55 snaps.

Rod finished with a team-high 41 rushing yards on nine carries, and scored his first career touchdown on a 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

“It’s definitely an exciting moment for me and my family,” Rod said about his first career touchdown after the game. “A lot of the guys on the team came up and were excited and happy for me. They know how hard I work and what I bring to the table. I got their back.

“Win, lose or draw, each night, each practice, I’m going to go out there and I’m going to work and compete to help this team get better.”