Smith wore No. 54 his first four seasons with Dallas, but was No. 9 throughout his career at Notre Dame. The 2016 second-round pick is reportedly paying a pretty penny to make the switch.
Not surprisingly, the decision is being met with some hesitancy by a lot of Cowboys fans. Smith did not play well in 2020 after a Pro Bowl season in 2019, and Romo is relatively beloved for his decade-plus career in Dallas.
If Smith plays well wearing No. 9, none of this will matter, but he may be indirectly putting a target on his back with the number change.
The fact that a certain linebacker PAID to switch to a number that is going to upset a lot of fans that are already not pumped about him is… interesting.
— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) May 25, 2021
Tbh cowboys should retire #9 though, if Romo gave Jaylon the ok then I’m cool with it but man it’s gonna be weird
— Zirksee🍽 (@Zirksee) May 25, 2021
Love you Jaylon, but jersey number 9 should belong to Tony Romo forever and always. https://t.co/HgoGCGTjmd
— Brooks Boyett (@brooksboyett) May 25, 2021
I don’t hate Jaylon, but i hate that he got Romo’s 9. That shouldn’t be given anymore
— Richard (@Rych9) May 25, 2021
I didn’t realize Cowboy fans loved Romo so much. 2-4 in the postseason, underrated QB by many, but I didn’t see this saltiness surrounding #9 happening
— Robby Nienaber (@BIG_scrob) May 25, 2021
Fans crying about Jaylon Smith wearing number 9. Were you also upset that Jaylon Smith and B. Carpenter wore #54?
Randy White and Chuck Howley accomplished more than Romo did. Super bowl MVP, and HOF in Randy’s case. If #54 doesn’t bother you, #9 shouldn’t. @dallascowboys
— julian (@jmac_85) May 25, 2021
The point made in the final two tweets is an interesting one. As good a player as Romo was, he’s not on the level of legendary Cowboys defender Randy White, who made the No. 54 famous in the 1970s and 1980s.
Again, like we said above, if Smith plays well, it won’t matter what number he’s wearing. Performance matters over everything else.