Cowboys Aldon Smith “Grateful” for Return to the NFL

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Dallas Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith says he is “grateful” for the chance to return to the field after being conditionally reinstated by the NFL on Wednesday.

Smith, who had been suspended since 2015 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct and addiction policies, discussed his reinstatement in an interview with TMZ Sports. Asked what it will be like to get back on the field after being suspended for more than four seasons, Smith said the situation had “played in my head”.

“I think the general emotion is that I am grateful. I’m really grateful, ”said Smith. “… I have come a long way. For me to have the opportunity to come back and do something I love, something I have enjoyed – just having that opportunity again means a lot. I was able to overcome some big, big obstacles in my life. ”

Smith has been arrested several times during his career for offenses such as DUI and domestic violence. In 2018, he was sentenced to 90 days in prison and three years probation after pleading unchallenged for violating a court decision and false imprisonment to resolve the domestic violence case. He served his sentence in a drug and alcohol treatment center.

He said he was sober now, telling TMZ he wanted his story to be an inspiration to others.

“I just want my story to spread and help others,” said Smith. “For people who may have thought differently from me and for those who have always believed in me, I can say,” Wow, that’s great. Because I believe that everyone goes through things in their life, and no matter what they do for a profession, it affects them in a way that can be their downfall or it can be something they watch and learn. I want people to see my story and see it and be like, “Hey man, he can do this; He did it. “I want to be an inspiration. “

Smith had 47.5 sacks in 59 games before his suspension. He told TMZ that he was now “a better person overall.”

“I was able to play at a high level with a lot of other things going on in my life,” he said. “With the way life is for me now, I can’t wait to see what I can do. “

Smith, 30, told TMZ, “I still feel young. “

“I don’t have mileage on my body,” said Smith. “I always feel good when I go to the gym. I always feel young and fresh. So if anything, I’m looking forward to what I can do there. “

Smith will be able to attend meetings with the Cowboys’ coaches and teammates as part of the virtual offseason program starting Tuesday. He signed a year-long contract with the Cowboys in April. Upon reinstatement, he will receive $ 90,000 from the Cowboys and can earn up to $ 4 million if he gets multiple incentives in the contract.

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