The Dallas Cowboys are beginning to add to its defense in free agency. Keanu Neal was signed last weekend to potentially play in a linebacker role. Dallas is also reportedly interested in safeties Damontae Kazee and Malik Hooker. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is obviously having influence on the defensive personnel.
Dallas has seen multiple free agents leave town. Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie inked a deal to play in the Cincinnati Bengals secondary. It appears unlikely that Xavier Woods will be returning to the team. Linebacker Joe Thomas will be moving south, as he signed with the Texans.
On Wednesday, it was reported that another defender will not be re-signing with the Cowboys. Aldon Smith, who inked a one-year deal with the Cowboys last offseason, will be looking for a new team.
COWBOYS MOVING ON FROM SMITH
Cowboys informed DE Aldon Smith on Tuesday they'll be moving in a different direction, source said. Smith became an unrestricted free agent on March 17. He hopes to play somewhere in 2021. Won't be in Dallas. @WerderEdESPN first reported.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) March 24, 2021
Smith began the season on a strong note, flashing some of the pass-rushing ability that made fans excited when he signed last year. The former All-Pro selection recorded three sacks agains the Seattle Seahawks in week three. Smith’s production fell off over the remainder of the season, though.
Aldon Smith totaled just two more sacks over the rest of the 2020 season. It was his first season back from a four-year suspension, so Smith likely hit a wall after his hot start. The Cowboys defense in general wasn’t very good in Mike Nolan’s only season as defensive coordinator.
The Cowboys will return DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory at pass rusher in 2021. Dallas also went out and signed former New York Jets defender Tarell Basham to a two-year deal in free agency.
Top of the Cowboys’ current edge rusher depth chart with Aldon Smith not returning:
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) March 24, 2021
It will be interesting to see how much the Cowboys prioritize filling Smith’s role this offseason. Ryan Kerrigan is one of the more notable EDGE rushers available on the market. There are also some quality pass-rushing prospects in this year’s draft class.
Improving the secondary appears to be the priority, but addressing the entire defensive side of the ball is a must.
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