After one year with the Dallas Cowboys, free agent Defensive End Aldon Smith will be continuing his NFL comeback with the Seattle Seahawks. The veteran is signing with Seattle and thus another free agent from Dallas' 2020 roster who won't be returning next season.
Sitting out from football from 2016-2019 to work on personal issues, Aldon signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys. Despite the long absence and turning 31 last September, Smith was one of the NFL's best pass rushers in early 2020 and remained one of the team's most productive defensive ends all season.
Aldon's production dropped off significantly after the first four weeks of the season, and eventually Randy Gregory was outshining him once he came off suspensions. For that and perhaps other reasons, Dallas didn't appear to be trying very hard to re-sign Smith this offseason.
Aldon Smith has agreed to a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks, according to a source. Smith had his best game of the 2020 season against Seattle, recording three sacks in Week 3. The Cowboys nearly traded him to the Seahawks at the trade deadline but decided to keep him.
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) April 15, 2021
Smith's departure adds to the mass exodus of players from the Cowboys this offseason. Of the 23 players we listed and ranked back in January, only six of the top 15 have re-signed with Dallas thus far.
Aldon Smith joins Chidobe Awuzie, Xavier Woods, Tyrone Crawford, and Joe Thomas as key players from the 2020 defense to either retire (Crawford) or sign deals with new teams.
The Cowboys appear be putting their trust in Randy Gregory now as Smith's primary replacement. DeMarcus Lawrence is still here and Dallas signed their own free agent, Tarell Basham, to help bolster the group. You also have prospects like Bradlee Anae, Dorance Armstrong, and Ron'Dell Carter in the mix.
And of course, next week's 2021 NFL Draft could yield some additional talent at defensive end.
Brief though it was, Aldon Smith's run with the Dallas Cowboys was a success story. Few could make the kind of comeback he did in those circumstances, but Smith proved in past years what an exceptional talent he is.
Hopefully for him, and outside of any possible games against the Cowboys, that success continues with his new team.