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AP source: Cowboys sign DE Aldon Smith, suspended since 2015

Thu Apr 2 1:27am ET
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Pro Football Writer

In this Sept. 13, 2015, file photo, Oakland Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith (99) sits on the bench during the second half of the team's NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Oakland, Calif. The Dallas Cowboys are taking a chance on another suspended defensive end, signing Aldon Smith to a contract while his playing status in the NFL is up in the air. A person with direct knowledge of the deal said Smith signed Wednesday, April 1, 2020. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the signing hadn't been announced. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)


The Dallas Cowboys are taking a chance on another suspended defensive end, signing Aldon Smith to a contract while his playing status in the NFL is uncertain.

A person with direct knowledge of the deal said Smith signed Wednesday with Dallas. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal hadn't been announced. Smith posted a picture of himself signing a document on Instagram and wrote, "Life is good. I'm thankful. I'm blessed. I'm a Cowboy."

Smith hasn't played in the NFL since 2015, when he was suspended for violating the league's substance-abuse policy while with the Oakland Raiders.

The Cowboys now have two suspended pass rushers under contract in Smith and Randy Gregory. It wasn't immediately clear where Smith stands in the reinstatement process. Gregory is seeking reinstatement.

The 30-year-old Smith had several legal issues as a player with San Francisco and Oakland. He was first suspended with the 49ers in 2014 before receiving a one-year ban in November 2015 with the Raiders.

Oakland retained Smith's contractual rights before releasing him in 2018 after San Francisco police issued a warrant for his arrest in a domestic violence case.

Smith applied for reinstatement to the NFL in 2016, but that decision was initially deferred until the offseason and he never was granted reinstatement.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has a history of trying to resurrect the careers of troubled defensive players, with mixed results. This time, Dallas is looking for pass rushing help after losing Robert Quinn to Chicago in free agency.

Linebacker Rolando McClain had a good year in 2014 after a trade before more substance-abuse suspensions. Defensive end Greg Hardy signed with Dallas as a free agent in 2015 following a domestic violence case in North Carolina, and that tumultuous season was Hardy's final year in the league.

Smith could be reunited with new Dallas defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, who was Smith's position coach during his first four seasons in the NFL with the 49ers.

Smith was drafted seventh overall out of Missouri in 2011. He had 19 1/2 sacks in his second NFL season and was an All-Pro while helping San Francisco reach the Super Bowl. He has 47 1/2 sacks in 59 career games.

Player Notes
Taysom Hill Apr 2 10:15am ET

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said that the uniqueness of quarterback Taysom Hill's role requires the team to have a third quarterback active on game days, and that won't change in 2020 with Teddy Bridgewater now in Carolina. The Saints are likely to look for the best quarterback (rookie or a veteran) that is available to be the No. 3 behind Drew Brees and Hill. New Orleans thinks highly of Hill as the heir apparent to Brees, but he's attempted just 13 passes the last two seasons, including just six attempts despite Brees missing extended time in 2019 with a finger injury. The 29-year-old gadget player won't have any lasting fantasy significance in redraft leagues unless Brees gets injured again or retires.

Tua Tagovailoa Apr 2 10:13am ET

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (hip) said on Wednesday that his surgically repaired hip is fully healed and that he could play in a game at full strength right now. I feel 100 percent, Tagovailoa said in an exclusive interview with NFL Network. I feel like if there was a game today, I'd be able to go out and perform the same way I was able to perform in previous years. I feel as mobile as possible. I feel 100 percent. His agent, Chris Cabott, said that Tagovailoa's doctors have cleared him without restrictions. Tagovailoa is expected to be one of the top picks in this year's draft and the second QB selected after LSU's Joe Burrow, who is expected to go first overall. Tua hasn't said which teams he's met with virtually. The left-handed thrower has some injury risks, but he's extremely accurate and athletic and could be starting games in 2020 for whichever team selects him.

Markus Golden Apr 2 9:33am ET

Free-agent LB Markus Golden is unlikely to return to the New York Giants because he's asking for too much money, according to a source. Golden is believed to be asking for north of $10 million per year.

Fantasy Spin: If Golden is classified as a defensive lineman, he rates as a midrange DL1 option in IDP leagues. He had 72 total tackles and 9.5 sacks last year. He's a flex option at linebacker wherever he lands.

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