Report: Cowboys giving Aldon Smith a second chance

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Aldon Smith hasn’t played since 2015, but the Cowboys are rolling the dice the pass rusher still can play.

Smith has reached agreement with the Cowboys, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports. It’s a one-year deal with a $2 million base value and $2 million in sack incentives, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Media.

“Clean and sober now, incredible how much he’s turned his life around,” Glazer said on Wednesday night’s Fox Football Now.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has given second chances to plenty of players, including Alonzo Spellman, Dimitrius Underwood, Greg Hardy, Rolando McClain and Randy Gregory, with mixed results. Smith will become the latest.

He has served multiple suspensions under both the substance-abuse policy and the Personal Conduct Policy. Smith’s latest suspension arose from an alleged hit-and-run, DUI and vandalism incident in 2015.

A report from NFL Media last month indicated Smith was in the process of applying for reinstatement.

The new CBA relaxes the substance-abuse policy. However, it does not change the procedures for reinstatement, leaving the decision within the sole discretion of Commissioner Roger Goodell with no timeline.

The Cowboys are in need of depth at defensive end, though Tyrone Crawford will return from hip surgery and Gregory could get reinstated by Goodell.

Smith, 30, was as good as anyone at rushing the passer in his first two seasons after the 49ers made him the seventh overall choice in the 2011 draft. He had 33.5 sacks in his first 32 games and 42 in his first 43.

The 49ers cut Smith during the 2014 season, his fourth in the league. Smith joined the Raiders the following year. His most recent suspension happened during the 2015 season, his first and only in Oakland.

61 responses to “Report: Cowboys giving Aldon Smith a second chance

  1. From someone like me who has almost 13 years sober, hopefully he stays that way. The football career is an added bonus, hope the guy can do it.

  2. Cowboys giving Aldon Smith an eighth chance….. fixed it for ya. In all seriousness though, I hope he can keep his head right.

  3. “Second” chance?? Think Jerrah might want to double check his math on this one. More like fifth or sixth chance at this point.

  4. Wow….this team loves to overpay. Why on earth would you give anything but the vet min???

    Bwahaha.

  5. Isn’t that a lot of money for a guy who hasn’t played football since Madden 2015?

    I mean that better be very incentive-heavy.

  6. LOL good luck with this move. Guy is the Jon Jones of football. Very stupid signing.

  7. He had a lot of potential in the beginning, but his personal demons and poor choices did him in. Hope he can salvage a career of sorts, but it’s a crap shoot at this point. If he stays clean, 5-7 sacks. If not, training camp body.

  8. 2nd Chance? Ya, right… When does Antonio Brown get his second chance?

    Oh wait, I mean when do they get their 5th chance?

  9. Honestly, man, good for him. He had all the talent in the world, and threw a lot of it away. I hope he can stay focused on doing things the right way. Idc what team signed him, it’s cool to see a possible story of redemption. I look forward to watching him play again. Dudes a beast.

  10. Good luck big fella. Not necessarily a fan of his or the Cowboys, but it would be great to see him succeed and stay sober.

  11. Well, hopefully Glazer is right about Smith. If he’s truly made a significant change, that would be great news for him personally and I’d be happy to hear that. Of the players mentioned, Rolando McClain actually had great on field production for the Cowboys before slipping off the field again, and Greg Hardy was also productive on the field (6 sacks), but their off-field issues took over their on field production. Hopefully for Smith, he does not fall into the same category.

    Are the Cowboys running a 4-3 as before or are they transitioning to a 3-4 with McCarthy? Smith is traditionally a linebacker in a 3-4, but I am unsure as to what position Tyrone Crawford (a great DT in a 4-3 but undersized for that position in a 3-4) would play. Curious to see how their defense shakes out with the new additions and the old 4-3 components that played a different defensive style than McCarthy typically does.

  12. I don’t think he’s going to be worth the cap space but this move has Jerry written all over it. I can’t see Stephen or Will McClay doing this and I don’t know enough about Mike McCarthy.

  13. I know it is the popular choice to bash a guy (who btw deserves to be bashed, I get it) but I remain a sucker for a good turnaround story. The phrase I like is “clean and sober.” If he is I wish him luck. Really. And if he is not, I wish him luck. Really. Just not on a football field.

  14. “Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has given second chances to plenty of players, with mixed results”
    Ol’ Jerr would sell his soul to the Goodell if it guaranteed at least 9 wins this season.

  15. Everyone deserves a second chance. Let’s hope he’s tackled his demons.

    Of course, as an Eagles fan, I hope he’s lost a step. But he does deserve reinstatement.

    And, by god, how did the players not demand a fairer and more transparent system for player suspensions and reinstatement than having Godell adjudicate arbitrarily as he choses?

  16. Too bad he wont have Justin Smith tying up blockers on the line but maybe he can help as a situational pass rusher. Thats a long layoff …

  17. Long time to be away. Wish the man well. Would be a great story of changing one’s life.

  18. The Cowboys have always loved to sign guys like Aldon Smith. The facts don’t lie — more often than not the Cowboys have wasted their money.

  19. It wasn’t just substance abuse that got him into trouble. He’s also had a number of behavioral issues.

  20. As a recovering alcoholic myself, I’m always behind a brother who’s trying to sty sober and clean.

    But let’s be real here. Second chance? Some people can’t count, apparently.

  21. I guess now that he ain’t playing for the Raiders goodell will let him play now? That’s BS!

  22. I remember his first season very well. I also remember how he played when he returned to the 49ers. He looked lost on the field. Clearly he lost whatever he had during the first suspension. His time in Oakland was not successful at all. Why would Dallas sign him before he’s been reinstated and pay him well above league minimum.

  23. Has anyone ever made even a brief return to the NFL after missing the entirety of four seasons? That feels unprecedented or at least nearly so to me.

  24. I get the hate for the Cowboys (and yes, its been a long time since they won a SB) but you have to admit – they are never boring. Jones is a businessman/showman who desperately wants to be a football guy but can’t get out of his own way. Saying that, Charles Haley did put them over the hump on the way to 3 SB’s. Ever since, JJ has been trying to find the next Haley…with very mixed results.

  25. The day the Seahawks signed Benson Mayowa (seven sacks last season) for $3 million, the Cowboys signed Aldon Smith (zero sacks in the last four seasons) for $4 million. There is a reason the Cowboys are not an elite franchise, and the reason is that Jerry Jones is not a competent personnel man. He could have signed Stefan Wisniewski to help replace Frederick AND Nickell Robey-Coleman to shore up the secondary AND Phillip Dorsett to provide a deep threat and still have spent less money than he is wasting on his most recent low percentage reclamation project.

  26. Always liked the guy, it’s a shame he let his demons get the best of him. He was supposedly always the funny guy in the room that let the other guys enjoy the game and not feel as much pressure – a lot like what Kittle does now.

    A lot of people forget about one of the biggest contributing factors to his downfall – KAEPERNICK. Aldon was dating a local radio DJ NESSA while on the team, and KAP started screwing around with her. IMO that’s as much of a factor of KAP not having a job as the anthem protests – he just flat out doesn’t give a D about his teammates or the team in general. That lines up pretty darn well with Aldon’s drinking and driving and all the other bad behavior. It’s no excuse, but sheds some light on his issues.

    Rooting for the guy. Before playing for the raiders, he had the record for most sacks in the least amount of games in history. Hopefully he can get somewhere back to near his old self.

  27. I’m working on two months’ sobriety, so I can relate to his substance abuse struggle. You only get so many chances in life….I hope he doesn’t screw this opportunity up. I wish him success.

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