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From the Plains to the pros: Ryan Smith

Editor's note: Auburn has a rich history of sending players to the NFL. With that in mind, beat writer Ryan Black takes a look at each former Tiger that finds himself on an NFL roster (or should be once free agency and training camps shake out). The series will begin with those who have already been in the league for more than one season and conclude with the latest crop of players to land in the NFL, either through the draft or as an undrafted free agent.

Ryan Smith, Dallas Cowboys

Position: Safety

Drafted: Undrafted; signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in May

Career stats: N/A; rookie season

2014 outlook:

With the Dallas defense undergoing a major overhaul since the end of last season, many spots are up for grabs. Free safety happens to be one of them. Saying an undrafted free agent like Smith is going to win the starting job isn't smart. What seems far more likely is that he'll make a spirited push at landing on the 53-man roster, especially if the Cowboys elect to keep a third-string safety. What may bode even better for his chances is that he's already shown the ability to play multiple spots, as Dallas lined him at corner during the team's rookie minicamp in May. While there, he played well enough

to make an impression

. If he can carry that into training camp, he just may survive final cuts and seal a spot on the team.

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