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Will DE Aldon Smith Surprise The League In 2020?

It’s been quite sometime since Aldon Smith was considered the league’s next best pass rusher.

Paired with Justin Smith in San Francisco, Aldon and that 49ers pass rush helped lead the team to a Super Bowl appearance back in 2012. Smith earned First Team All Pro honors that same season, tallied 33.5 sacks though his first two seasons, and the sky looked to be the limit for his career.

Then came…a lot.

Over the last few years Smith has been arrested multiple times for driving under the influence, has faced both domestic violence an weapons charges, and has been out of league for five years. But now Smith has been conditionally reinstated by the NFL, and has a second chance with the Dallas Cowboys.

The 30 year old defensive end reportedly “feels great,” and the workout videos we’ve seen indicate the same. As Inside The Star’s Matthew Lenix pointed out recently, Smith has been speaking highly of himself heading into this season as well.

“Shape-wise I feel great. I feel great. I feel young. I feel… my twenties. I feel fresh. So I’m good on that. My weight’s good. I’m a little heavier, but it’s all muscle and I’ve been carrying it long enough and I move well, if not better” – Aldon Smith.

It’s not shocking to hear a player say they’re in the best shape of their life before their 30 year old season. Honestly, we hear it all the time and mostly it’s a lie. But Smith has been out of the game since 2015, and likely has a chip on his shoulder to prove he can turn his life around and regain form on the football field.

Obviously, football is secondary in the Aldon Smith story. Hopefully he is a better person now than he’s shown himself to be previously. But if Smith is truly healthy, and actually in the right mind and shape to play football, he could be the signing which puts the Cowboys over the top in 2020.

What do you think?

Kevin Brady

Written by Kevin Brady

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.


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  1. I’ve been saying this since we signed him, and I’ll keep saying it…. I think Aldon Smith is gonna shock a lot of people!! People gotta think, he’s not like most 30 year olds playing football these days…. He’s actually been out of the league for a few years now, so his body don’t have all the wear and tear on it like most of the other guys in there 30s!! Plus he’s been playing this game his whole life, so just because he’s been out of the league for a few years it doesn’t mean he’s forgotten how to play the game!! I can remember a lot of people saying that Robert Quinn wasn’t gonna be any good cause he was too old and we all seen what he did…. He came in and was the best edge rusher on the team!! I think Aldon Smith is gonna come in and prove everybody wrong, just like Robert Quinn did!!

    • I still prefer Gregory over Smith in Pass rush/3rd downs but Smith has edge in Run Stop. Ive always thought Gregory could be a 10 sack a year guy if he started a whole season. But Gregory/Smith rotation is scary! Im hoping we can pay cut Crawford then package him with Awuzie & draft pick for Jamal Adams. That way guys like Grefory, Smith, Hill, Gallimore, Anae, Armstrong all get a little more play time. I really think Hill will shock people this season. Hes only 22, hes a year younger than rookie Gallimore & basically spent last season as a redshirt learning & hardly even saw the field. But now hes learned the game for a year, added muscle & speed & MOST IMPORTANTLY HAS PEOPLE DOUBTING HIM , EXPECT HIM TO GO HAM THIS SEASON!

    • I hope you’re right on this one. Smith was on his way to a legit hall of fame type career after two seasons, but then it hit the fan. Let’s hope he’s got his life together in Dallas now.

  2. I have a great feeling that he will have moments where he looks like his younger self but more focused & stronger. There’s no way he plays and has nothing to attack with. The guy is in better shape physically & mentally than he ever was playing before. Fresh body with no hard football miles on it. Just run and tackle and then the technique appears with his speed and power. That’s when QBs need to be scared. A. Smith hits H A R D. Dallas made a terrific move giving Aldon Smith a chance to play again with an old coach of his and in PrimeTime on the Cowboys! Just get 3 & outs, sacks, fumbles, and prevent the other team from scoring. It can and will be done.

    • I love the optimism, Omar. I do think there’s reasons to be excited about him and it could end up being one of the better free agency moves the Cowboys have ever made if he regains form.

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