Dallas Cowboys Defensive End Aldon Smith Reinstated
DALLAS - The National Football League has reportedly reinstated All-Pro Defensive End Aldon Smith.
The veteran pass rusher has signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys, reportedly worth $4 million. He’s now eligible to participate in Cowboys team offseason activities. It marks Smith's return to the league after a four-year absence after last playing with the Oakland Raiders in 2015.
Since 2015, Smith has served multiple suspensions under both the NFL substance-abuse policy and the Personal Conduct Policy. His off-field issues range from an alleged hit-and-run to felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon to alleged domestic violence to allegedly suggesting he had a bomb at an airport to an arrest for "assault with force'' and "false imprisonment'' to a DUI to vandalism.
Jerry Jones' Cowboys are electing to give Smith a controversial second chance.
A former first-round NFL Draft pick out of Missouri, Smith totaled 33.5 sacks in his first two seasons, the most in league history for a player in his first two seasons. He was one of the most exciting pass rushers in the league before his suspensions took over the headlines.
The Cowboys have a need at defensive end and the league clearance allows for Smith to help fill the void. Other options at defensive end are: Randy Gregory, who is also awaiting reinstatement, Tyrone Crawford, who is rehabbing from double-hip surgeries and rookie Bradlee Anae, Dallas' fifth round selection out of Utah.
Jay Glazer, the reporter/trainer who had a great deal of involvement in the long-troubled star's return, gave a rave review of Smith's physical and mental state.
"We trained him at Unbreakable Performance and got him up (from 260) to about 287 pounds, completely rocked up, solid as can be, very low body fat," Glazer said. "He has trained his butt off. His conditioning is great. ... He is just freaking monstrous."
"We’re going on nine months now (of sobriety) and he has not missed a single session," Glazer said. "Not one in nine months! He’s shown accountability to the whole group. ... He’s talked about his sobriety. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to open up to 80 to 100 total strangers in a group setting, but a lot of our vets are battling sobriety issues, too, and Smith has been extremely vulnerable and open about it.
"Vulnerability is real strength, not the muscles on the outside.''
30-year-old Smith's second chance in the NFL officially begins now with the Cowboys.