The Dallas Cowboys and Aldon Smith are pondering an extension
Aldon Smith has seen a drop in his play over the past four games after setting the world on fire his first five performances in a Dallas Cowboys‘ uniform. The eye test has matched his production all season, when the veteran defensive end was flying off the ball to begin the 2020 season he had four sacks in three games. Since then he has been getting stuck in the grasp of left tackles regularly, only registering one sack since that hot start.
This past week reports started to swirl around America’s Team that the second act of Smith’s career has a solid chance of being extended by Dallas past 2020. After signing a one-year contract this offseason that could be worth up to $4 million after adding incentives, Smith and the Cowboys are considering continuing their partnership beyond this season.
Smith was one of the few bright spots on a Dallas defense that was allowing 36.3 games per game after six games this season, a historically bad rate. In recent weeks his play has slowed down and he continues to receive fewer snaps per game.
For a player that is looking to be a part of a 2021 defense that has a high chance of looking vastly different from the 2020 version, Smith needs to seal the deal and prove earlier this season was not a fluke.
The recent decline in numbers for Cowboys edge rusher
The stats paint a clear picture in the production of Smith, especially since the reemergence of defensive end Randy Gregory three games ago.
- First Five Games: 4 sacks, 8 QB hits, 57 snaps per game
- Last Four Games: 1 sack, 1 QB hit, 43 snaps per game
This is not the consistent performance that an edge rusher would want to display before receiving a contract extension. The Cowboys should pump the brakes before offering a contract extension to the former All-Pro defensive end. If the rest of the season provides slumping numbers, maybe it is in the best interest of the franchise to look elsewhere for edge pressure in 2021.
Smith has continued to receive enough snaps to put up numbers and that will likely continue for the rest of the season.
Coming off the bye week, this week against the Minnesota Vikings will be a telling story of the faith that the coaching staff has in Smith. If Gregory continues to receive a large portion of snaps and keeps producing more quarterback pressure it is a sign Smith’s days might be numbered after the 2020 season.
Still, Aldon Smith, each time he gets off the edge with his unique speed for his size is a breathtaking sight for fans of America’s Team. Smith could play a major factor in the final seven games of the season. The bye week might be the reset that he needed.