Home » NFL Rookies » Cowboys will not re-sign Aldon Smith one year after pass rusher’s surprise return to NFL, per report

Cowboys will not re-sign Aldon Smith one year after pass rusher’s surprise return to NFL, per report

Patrick McDermott / Contributor

Aldon Smith resumed a roller coaster of an NFL career in 2020, returning to play for the Dallas Cowboys after a five-year hiatus. If the pass rusher intends to continue his career in 2021, however, he’ll have to do it outside of America’s Team. That’s according to ESPN’s Ed Werder, who reported Wednesday that Dallas has informed the former All-Pro he will not be re-signed. Smith, 31, became an unrestricted free agent on March 17, and the Cowboys have since decided to move on from the defender after one year together.

Signed by the Cowboys last April while awaiting reinstatement from the NFL, the former first-round draft pick served a prominent role in Dallas’ defense, starting all 16 games opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. He logged 48 tackles, five sacks and a team-high 14 quarterback hits during his first action since the 2015 season, while also recovering a pair of fumbles and notching five tackles for loss. Despite in-season hopes of extending Smith on a new deal, however, the Cowboys recently signed ex-Jets pass rusher Tarell Basham to a two-year, $6.5 million contract, likely to fill a similar role opposite Lawrence.

According to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, Smith is now expected to explore other opportunities in free agency.

Originally drafted No. 7 overall by the 49ers back in 2011, the veteran opened his career on a record pace, racking up 14 sacks as a rookie despite starting zero games, then approached Michael Strahan’s all-time single-season sack record with 19.5 in 2012. The Pro Bowler’s trajectory took a downward turn the following year, however, when a DUI arrest led to a five-game absence and preceded multiple other arrests and violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policies. Smith was released by San Francisco prior to the 2015 campaign, which he started — but didn’t finish — with the Raiders before serving an indefinite NFL suspension.


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