The Dallas Cowboys shocked the world last April when they signed defensive end Aldon Smith to a one-year deal. After five years away from the NFL, Smith was one of the league’s feel-good stories of the 2020 season as he showed flashes of the player that registered 33.5 sacks in his first two seasons.
Team owner Jerry Jones, never at a loss for words, had nothing but glowing praise when asked about Smith’s return to the league, and even made it clear that he’d want him to return to Dallas in 2021.
“It’s inspirational to see a man like Aldon Smith have the comeback here that he had,” Jerry Jones said, via the team’s website. “He played some outstanding football for us. He certainly was more positive than not, and I think he can take this year and build on it, and we want him to build on it to the benefit of the Cowboys.”
Smith didn’t waste any time making an impact. In the season opener, not only did Smith record an amazing 11 tackles but he also got his first sack since 2015. A few weeks later, however, he had his best game of the season with three sacks against the Seattle Seahawks. It was the most sacks he’s had in a game since 2012 as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.
Aldon Smith is presently a beast and if you ever get 5 splash plays in one day, you also get a Montage! pic.twitter.com/mtD05MaQZL
— Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm) September 30, 2020
His fast start didn’t last though, as he only recorded one more sack for the remainder of the season. Nonetheless, his five sacks and 35 pressures were second on the team to DeMarcus Lawrence. He even showed his versatility by sliding inside to play defensive tackle once Randy Gregory got into his grove after missing the 2019 season.
The 2021 offseason is in full swing for the Cowboys and Smith is one of the biggest free agents they’ll have to decide on. Gregory looked excellent in 2020, and with younger talent like Dorance Armstrong and Bradlee Anae on the roster, it could make Smith expendable.
If Smith is to come back to Dallas in 2021 it will likely be on a short-term deal that’s incentive-based. A potential full season of Smith coming off the edge with Lawrence and Gregory sounds tasty, but it’ll depend on if that’s a part of the Cowboys meal plan for next season.
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