Cowboys take Notre Dame LB Smith, who likely sits out 2016

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SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 19: Jaylon Smith #9 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in action against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the game at Notre Dame Stadium on September 19, 2015 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Georgia Tech 30-22. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

IRVING, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys have taken Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith with the 34th overall pick in the second round of the NFL draft.

Smith isn’t expected to play in 2016 after tearing ligaments in his left knee in his final college game against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. He skipped his final season of eligibility despite the injury.

The Cowboys went defense with their first pick Friday night after staying away from their biggest needs with the fourth overall pick on opening night and getting Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Dallas can afford to give Smith a year to heal with middle linebacker Rolando McClain returning for a second season and oft-injured Sean Lee coming off his first Pro Bowl season in 2015.