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All eyes will be on one Cowboys player in tonight's preseason game

Ever since he was drafted in the second round last season, Cowboys fans have been waiting to see Jaylon Smith on the field in a game. (SBG Photo)

Ever since he was drafted in the second round last season, Cowboys fans have been waiting to see Jaylon Smith on the field in a game.

Smith has been waiting even longer than that - 597 days to be exact.

The waiting is over at 6pm tonight when the Colts face the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in preseason game number two on FOX San Antonio.

Smith tore a knee ligament and suffered nerve damage in a New Years bowl game while playing for Notre Dame in 2016. There was no guarantee the nerve damage would regenerate, but the Cowboys used a high draft pick on him because of the immense potential Smith has to be a top defensive talent -- and their own team doctor performed the surgery.

Tonight will be a major milestone in his recovery, but he will be pulled after a certain number of plays.

"He'll definitely be on a pitch count," said Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones. "It's his first time back in live action. Like I've said, he's going to be here for 10-plus years, so he doesn't need to go win defensive player of the year the first night out in a preseason game."

Other starters will make their preseason debut, including Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant. While Ezekiel Elliott is allowed to play in the preseason, with his pending suspension he likely will not play tonight.

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