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Cowboys comfortable with where Aldon Smith is in reinstatement bid

The Cowboys had Robert Quinn opposite DeMarcus Lawrence last season. They don’t have Quinn anymore.

They also used the Tampa Two with Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard last season. Now, with Mike Nolan as their defensive coordinator, the Cowboys will run a four-man base defense with “the ability to have some variation there,” new coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday.

Aldon Smith will fit perfectly what the Cowboys want to do with a designated pass-rusher if he earns reinstatement and still can play after so long out of the game.

Smith hasn’t played since 2015 and remains indefinitely suspended.

“Aldon has been in the process of re-entering as an active player in the NFL for several months now,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday. “I would say first-hand that I know that he is very diligent in his work to do the things the NFL looks at to reinstate. It was important to us to look eye to eye and see where we are with our conscientiousness.”

McCarthy first met Smith in December. The now-Cowboys head coach was visiting his daughter, an aspiring actress, in Los Angeles when he went to work out at Jay Glazer’s Unbreakable gym.

“I was up there on a personal nature,” McCarthy said. “I was very impressed with everything that he’s done and his path. I’ve always admired him from afar. Very impressive young man, and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

The Cowboys are awaiting word from the NFL on both Smith and Randy Gregory. Even though the new labor deal softens the punishment for positive street drug tests moving forward, it changes nothing regarding the status of indefinitely suspended players.

“I wouldn’t dare get into where the league is and how they will go about this process for both of those players,” Jones said. “I will say this, as a league, we really are bent toward the medical aspect of many of these problems or many of these things that have been in consideration when a player has to have some type of suspension. We’ve made it more medically oriented to where you can have good grades from doctors, and that weighs into being a player in the NFL. Those guys are certainly adhering to those tests in their rehab efforts.”