The signing comes despite repeated legal issues, including a conviction in a domestic violence case, for Smith, as well as a four-year hiatus from playing in an actual NFL game. Smith last played for the Raiders in the 2015 regular season.
Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer first reported the deal, which Smith later confirmed via Instagram.
Breaking: The #dallascowboys have signed former Pro Bowl LB/DE Aldon Smith to a one-year, marking the end of a 4-year absence. Clean and sober now, incredible how much he’s turned his life around. @NFLonFOX @dallascowboys— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) April 2, 2020
Per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Cowboys are giving Smith a one-year, $2 million contract with $2 million in incentives. The deal is also reportedly pending Smith’s reinstatement from suspension.
Aldon Smith getting a penny more than the minimum is incredible after being out of the league since 2015. He gets a $2 million base value and $2 million in sack incentives on his one-year deal.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 2, 2020
Smith was among the best pass rushers in the NFL. He recorded 33.5 sacks and reached the Super Bowl in his first two seasons with the Niners, who took him seventh overall in the 2011 NFL draft. However, Smith would soon become a dark story.
Aldon Smith’s mountain of legal issues
Here’s a rundown of the breathtaking amount of off-field issues Smith has encountered since entering the NFL:
arrested in Jan. 2012 for driving under the influence
arrested in April 2014 for a fake bomb threat at Los Angeles International Airport, later suspended nine games by the NFL
arrested in Aug. 2015 for DUI and hit-and-run, was released by Niners a day later, then given year-long NFL suspension
arrested in March 2017 as the passenger in a DUI after a collision with a police car
sentenced to rehab in Sept. 2017 for the 2015 DUI
arrested in March 2018 on charges of misdemeanor charges of domestic violence, assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, false imprisonment and vandalism after his fiancee called 911 and said he threw her around the room, bit her wrists and drank two bottles of tequila before fleeing from police (he later blew a .40 BAC)
released by the Raiders two days after domestic violence arrest
arrested in March 2018 for violating a court order to stay away from his accuser
arrested in April 2018 for violating his bail
pleaded guilty to charges of false imprisonment and violating a court order in domestic violence case in Nov. 2018
arrested in June 2019 for DUI
Clearly, Smith has troubles with alcohol, and is, at most, only 10 months sober.
Cowboys take another chance on troubled DE
While it’s shocking to see any team take a chance on Smith, it’s not shocking that team is Dallas. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones clearly has an affinity for defensive ends with off-field issues.
Jones attracted widespread criticism in 2015 for signing former Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy despite a disturbing domestic violence conviction. He has also stuck by Randy Gregory despite the lineman missing 30 games due to substance abuse suspensions.
We’ll see if signing Smith works out any better for the Cowboys long-term.
More from Yahoo Sports: