Source: Cowboys reach one-year deal with pass rusher Aldon Smith

Tribune Content Agency

DALLAS — Aldon Smith’s comeback story will run through Dallas.

The former prolific pass rusher whose off-the-field issues sidelined him the past four seasons agreed Wednesday to a one-year contract with the Cowboys, a source said. The deal is worth up to $4 million between a $2 million base salary and $2 million in sack incentives. It includes no guaranteed money, representing a high-reward lottery ticket.

Smith, 30, was the No. 7 overall draft pick in 2011.

He recorded 33 1/2 combined sacks in 2011 and 2012, an NFL record for most sacks in the first two seasons of a career since the statistic was first tracked in 1982. His struggles with substance abuse and legal issues, however, derailed his career and resulted in his indefinite suspension.

Smith has issued “clean tests,” a person close to him said Wednesday evening.

The hope is Smith will be reinstated before the 2020 season. His contract with Dallas will begin only upon re-entrance into the league.

Why Dallas was considered a worthwhile fit for Smith extended beyond the club’s need for an edge rusher following defensive end Robert Quinn’s free-agency departure last month to the Chicago Bears. New Cowboys defensive line coach Jim Tomsula was the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive line coach for the entirety of Smith’s four-year tenure with the organization. Tomsula’s history with Smith is believed to have played a vital influence in the decision.

The Cowboys also are awaiting the potential reinstatement of defensive end Randy Gregory.

For substance-abuse issues, he was ineligible to compete in 2019.


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