3. Aldon Smith, Defensive end
The Dallas Cowboys signed the former San Francisco 49er linebacker Aldon Smith this past offseason to a one-year deal. The 31-year old had been out of football for nearly four years due to several off the field issues. However, despite his hiatus, he has been very productive for the Cowboys so far this season.
Smith currently leads the team in sacks with five and is third in tackles for losses with four. The dynamic pass rusher has been inconsistent but has shown tremendous potential in his time on the field. He has shown flashes of greatness that hearken back to his early playing days with the 49ers.
When Smith first entered the NFL back in 2011 he became a star almost instantaneously. The young pass rusher accrued an astounding 33.5 sacks in his first two seasons and was even listed as an All-Pro after only his second year in the league.
Dallas brought in Smith on what was essentially a tryout deal and he has played very well so far this season. The 31-year old has emerged as one of the few bright spots on the team during this otherwise disappointing year.
The front office will be forced to make a decision as to whether they want to bring him back for another season. However, it is highly unlikely the organization will be able to get him to stay for anywhere near the $4 million he is expected to make this year.
Fans of America’s Teams are used to their team making questionable choices regarding their players in the past. Smith is an incredibly talented player, but the Cowboys already have other talented pass rushers on their roster. This includes defensive end Randy Gregory and two-time Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.
Therefore, because of the likely increased cost of Smith, his age, and the fact that this is not one of the team’s biggest needs it would likely be inadvisable for them to bring him back moving forward.