The Dallas Cowboys have assembled a fascinating crew of defensive linemen and pass rushers for the 2020 season.
The alpha for Dallas off the edge is, of course, DeMarcus Lawrence, whose sack total took a bit of a dip last season from 10 to five.
Even with that statistical dip, Lawrence is expected to bounce back in 2020, and the Cowboys have a number of former star prospects surrounding him.
The Cowboys brought in former first-round picks like Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe on the defensive line, they used a third-round pick on Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore, and they are still hopeful that Randy Gregory can contribute in some way.
But the most fascinating move this team made in the 2020 offseason was signing edge rusher Aldon Smith.
Smith exploded onto the NFL scene in 2011 and racked up 42 sacks in his first 43 NFL games with six forced fumbles and 74 total QB hits.
Smith was on his way to becoming one of the elite defensive players in all of pro football when off-field issues really derailed a promising young career.
The Oakland Raiders tried giving him a shot in 2015, and that was the last time he played pro football.
There’s no question that the acquisition of Smith should be met with a bit of skepticism. The Cowboys — and everyone else — are in wait-and-see mode there. But taking a shot on Smith was a worthwhile risk if he can be even half the rusher he was in his time with the San Francisco 49ers.