Looking for a spark to put them in title contention, the Dallas Cowboys took a chance on defensive end Aldon Smith last season.
The pass rusher who once looked to be on a Hall of Fame trajectory was out of the league for nearly five whole seasons, due to a slew of legal troubles and poor decisions. Smith wasn't expected to bring much outside of a situational pass rusher in 2020, but he burst onto the scene the first few weeks of the year.
Aldon Smith finished his comeback tour with five five sacks and 20 quarterback pressures, playing and starting in all 16 of the team's games. He certainly gave more than most fans would've expected, but does that mean he should be a part of their future plans?
Bleacher Report thinks not. This week, they released an article titled “1 Free Agent Every Team Must Let Walk,” with Smith earning those honors for the Cowboys.
“The problem for Dallas is that Smith played on a one-year, $2 million deal. Now that he's shown what he can still do, he is going to be a lot more expensive.
While the Cowboys are projected to have more than $27 million in cap space, they are going to need all that and then some to lock up quarterback Dak Prescott. While Dallas would likely love to have Smith back, it cannot afford to get into a bidding war.”
A few weeks ago, our own Matthew Lenix wrote about this very topic, lobbying for the Cowboys to consider bringing back the veteran defensive lineman for next season.
Aldon Smith is presently a beast and if you ever get 5 splash plays in one day, you also get a Montage! pic.twitter.com/mtD05MaQZL
— Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm) September 30, 2020
So where will the final answer fall?
Well, I agree with Matthew that Aldon Smith would be a good piece to keep around for next season. Especially if he remains inexpensive. No, he is not a dominant player every down anymore, but he is a nice pass rushing piece to the Cowboys' defensive line puzzle.
With Randy Gregory likely being the full time edge starter next year beside DeMarcus Lawrence, Smith would fit nicely off the bench.
I'm also not really buying the “Dallas won't be able to afford him” narrative. Sure, Dak Prescott will be expensive, but who is really breaking the bank for Aldon Smith in 2021?
He'll cost more than he did last season, but he will be attainable for the Cowboys if the want him.
So, that is the question. Do they want him?