'Second-Chance' Cowboys Sign Controversial DE Aldon Smith
FRISCO - As much as any owner of any NFL team, Dallas Cowboys boss Jerry Jones believes in the concept of "the second chance.'' But the signing of Aldon Smith may now serve as his best example yet.
Smith hasn’t played since 2015, has served multiple suspensions under both the NFL substance-abuse policy and the Personal Conduct Policy, has had issues ranging from an alleged hit-and-run to felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon to alleged domestic violence to allegedly suggesting he had a bomb at an airport to an arrest for "assault with force'' and "false imprisonment'' to a DUI to vandalism ... but the Cowboys are, as is so often the case, willing to give him another shot.
“Clean and sober,'' reports FOX's Jay Glazer, who broke the story and called it "incredible how much he’s turned his life around.''
A source tells CowboysSI.com that Smith is getting a one-year deal worth up to $4 million. And put it all together?
"I've had 'em,'' Jones recently told us when we asked him generally about his "second-chance'' philosophy. "I’ve had nine lives. It only feels like the right thing to do, for me to give people second chances.''
Glazer is especially connected in this area and has a conduit to the Jones family as well; it would not surprise if Glazer's report has a direct tie to Dallas' decision. There are deeper connections here, though: new Cowboys defensive line coach Jim Tomsula worked with Smith from 2011 to 2014 when he served in that capacity with the Niners.
Smith is reportedly in the process of applying for NFL reinstatement, a possibility that increases due to the new CBA that lessens the harsh views on marijuana use. Of course, the new CBA does not take lightly things like an alleged hit-and-run, a DUI, a charge of vandalism, a bomb at an airport or an arrest for "assault with force'' and "false imprisonment.''
It is not yet known if the Cowboys feel they have an inside track on what the commissioner's office might rule on Smith, 30, who was a star in San Francisco early in his career after being the seventh-overall choice in the 2011 NFL Draft. He recorded 33.5 sacks in his first 32 games and 42 in his first 43 games before behavioral troubles derailed his career.
Speaking generally, we would caution Cowboys Nation against completely buying into the concept that "expectations are'' everything will be OK. That's not always how these matters work out. But ...
The Cowboys need help at defensive end, and with league clearance - something suspended pass-rusher Randy Gregory is also seeking - they may have just found it. ... if second chances are taken advantage of.