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.