It’s been a fortuitous 2020 offseason for the Dallas Cowboys, all things considered, and continues to be so as the calendar prepares to flip over to June. The club took a chance on Aldon Smith, signing the once-prolific pass rusher on a one-year deal just ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft, with the expectation he’d be reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the coming season.
The Cowboys got their wish, with sources confirming to CBS Sports that Goodell has, in fact, reinstated Smith to the league on a conditional basis — adding another level of potency to an already-revamped Cowboys pass rush. Time will tell if Goodell also gives Smith’s compatriot Randy Gregory the green light as well,, giving the Cowboys two high-ceiling edge rushers that come equipped with minimal cost and risk.
Smith’s deal, which is for one year,in a way that motivates him to continue walking the right path, rewarding him with added payouts for showing up to training camp as well as preseason games, and he’d have to be viable enough to make the team’s final roster in order to land the full guaranteed payout of $2 million. As it stands, Smith has done everything required of him to return to the NFL and his story is one that involves him admittedly having succumbed to his struggle with alcoholism to the point he was once sleeping under a car in his own garage.
It’s now also one that includes yet another — and likely final — shot at proving himself in the NFL, and for two coaches in Jim Tomsula and Mike McCarthy who believe he can make it happen. Tomsula and Smith have a longstanding relationship from their time spent together with the San Francisco 49ers, where Tomsula coached Smith up to All-Pro levels.
With the two reunited, the 30-year-old has the ability to do some very real damage for the Cowboys defense, and to help make McCarthy’s inaugural season in Dallas that much more impactful. Smith joins DeMarcus Lawrence and newly-signed free agents Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy, as well as a returning Tyrone Crawford and promising draft picks in Neville Gallimore and Bradley Anae — among others — in what is shaping up to be a potentially lethal defensive front for 2020.