The Dallas Cowboys made several intriguing defensive free agent signings this offseason. Among them was pass rusher Aldon Smith, who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2015.
Smith has been out of the league for the last four years due to various substance abuse and legal issues. However, he was reinstated earlier this year and Dallas took a flier on him.
At the time of the signing, new Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said he met Smith in Los Angeles before the team began pursuing him. This afternoon, McCarthy addressed Smith in a teleconference with Cowboys beat reporters.
All in all, his update on the embattled former first round pick was an encouraging one.
“He is such an impressive young man and his path to Dallas is special and unique, so just thankful and blessed to be a part of this opportunity with him,” McCarthy said, via Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams. “You know, he wants to get back professionally and be productive. He’s in great physical shape. It will be exciting to see him get out there for the first time. He’s bigger and stronger than he was when we had a chance to compete against him there when he was with the 49ers obviously playing at an elite level. So, I think it will be exciting to see him on the field and get back into it. He’s in a great place and very thankful for him being a part of the Dallas Cowboys.”
Before things took a downturn, Smith put together two incredible seasons to begin his NFL career. As a rookie in 2011, he recorded 11 sacks as the 49ers reached the NFC Championship Game.
The following year, Smith made the Pro Bowl and was first-team All-Pro, helping San Francisco reach Super Bowl XLVII. On the season, he compiled 66 tackles and 19.5 sacks.
Now 30, we’ll see what Smith has left in the tank as he tries to contribute in Dallas.