Dallas Cowboys: Aldon Smith’s enormous value extends beyond pass-rush

Aldon smith (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Aldon smith (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Aldon Smith’s tremendous value on the Dallas Cowboys extends far beyond his ability to simply get to the passer

When the Dallas Cowboys signed Aldon Smith this offseason many of us were conflicted. On one hand you had a former All-Pro who took the league by storm setting the rookie record in pressures and compiling 33.5 sacks in his first two seasons. On the other hand you had a guy who flamed out in spectacular fashion and hasn’t even played the game for nearly half-a-decade.

The talent said “Score!!!” But the time off said “extreme longshot.” Cowboys Nation came to terms it was a great low-risk/high-reward move Jerry Jones has grown famous for. Aldon could be over the hill and nothing more than a deep rotational piece capable of collecting a sack or two. Or he could be a 10-sack monster capable of being the war daddy opposite DeMarcus Lawrence.

Without preseason game action to evaluate, it’s difficult to say we have a definitive answer at this point. It appears Aldon is the beast we knew from those San Francisco days, but we can’t be sure of that given the level of competition he’s been facing in Cowboys Camp (The Dallas Cowboys top-3 offensive tackles have been out most of camp).

But I’m here to say, regardless of how Aldon Smith is at rushing the passer in 2020, he will serve an invaluable role this season for the Dallas Cowboys.

Aldon Smith’s hidden value on the Dallas Cowboys

At face value, when the Cowboys signed Everson Griffen last month, Aldon Smith’s stock took a hit. With a proven prototypical right defensive end now on the roster, Smith’s opportunities were sure to drop. Likewise, with Smith on the roster, Griffen’s workload was sure to drop from last year as well.

But that’s a good thing.

Not many people know this, but through the majority of last season, Everson Griffin was the second rated pass-rusher in the NFL. That’s right, when looking at total pressures, he was one of the most dominant players in the NFL most of last season. Read that again and tell me that’s not exciting to hear.

The problem is he wore down.

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Griffen would go on to play 848 snaps last season. That’s a ridiculous amount of snaps for anyone, let alone a 32-year-old veteran. For context – DeMarcus Lawrence played 668 snaps last season and Robert Quinn played just 647. Having Aldon Smith platoon at RDE will give Griffen rest throughout the season. It’ll keep him fresh late in the year and keep him playing his best when games start to matter the most. That’s Aldon Smith’s hidden value.

Even in Aldon’s worst case scenario where he’s nothing but a rotational piece, he’s still extremely valuable because he allows Everson Griffen to stay fresh and stay dominant.

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  • Published on 09/04/2020 at 12:01 PM
  • Last updated at 09/04/2020 at 07:00 AM