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Report: Cowboys won't re-sign DE Aldon Smith after surprise return to NFL in 2020

Liz Roscher
·2-min read

The Dallas Cowboys are not offering free agent defensive end Aldon Smith a new contract, according to ESPN's Ed Werder.

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Smith's return to the NFL in 2020 was a surprise. He'd been serving an indefinite suspension since the middle of the 2015 season for various legal and substance abuse issues — issues which had been with him for a significant portion of his career. Before his 2015 suspension, which was related to a hit-and-run, he'd been issued at least three DUIs, been involved in at least one alcohol-related accident, and missed six games during the 2013 season while he was in rehab for alcohol abuse. Smith applied for reinstatement in early 2020, signed with the Cowboys in April, and was conditionally reinstated in late May.

Also surprising was how good he was after such a long time away. He had 48 total tackles on the season and logged 14 quarterback hits, the most on the team. In his first three games with the Cowboys, he had four sacks and 20 combined tackles.

However, his production dwindled as the season went on, even though he started every game. He had just one sack from Weeks 4 through 8, and he didn't have a single sack from Week 9 forward. The back half of Smith's season did have one bright spot, though. In Week 14, he recovered a fumble against the Cincinnati Bengals and returned it for a 78-yard touchdown, the first of his career.

The Cowboys made it pretty clear that they were ready to move on from Smith when they signed defensive end Tarell Basham last week. According to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, Smith hopes to play somewhere in 2021.

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 01: Defensive end Aldon Smith #58 of the Dallas Cowboys warms up on the field prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 01, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 01: Defensive end Aldon Smith #58 of the Dallas Cowboys warms up on the field prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 01, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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