It’s been quite some time since we last saw Aldon Smith on an NFL field. But now the former All-Pro linebacker is making his NFL return as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
In a recent interview with TMZ, Smith declared that he is “an overall better person” now and believes he can be a high-impact player for the Cowboys. Specifically, he feels that he can still get 19.5 or more sacks in a season, matching the total he posted in 2012.
“I’m an overall better person,” Smith said. “I got 20 sacks — or 19.5, I say 20 because it was 20 — but, I was able to play at a high level with a lot of other things going on in my life. With how life is for me now, I’m just looking forward to seeing what I can do.”
Smith has not appeared in an NFL game since the 2015 season with the Oakland Raiders. He was suspended mid-season for a hit-and-run he was involved with earlier in the year.
The NFL chose not to reinstate him for the 2016 or 2017 seasons. After an alleged domestic violence incident in 2018, the Raiders released him, and no NFL teams touched him for the next two years.
But that changed this past Spring, when the Cowboys signed Smith to a one-year deal expecting his reinstatement. That gamble apparently paid off, as Smith got his wish yesterday.
Now that he’s back, Smith plans to pick up where he left off: As an elite pass rusher.
“My goal is to pick up where I left off,” Smith said. “That just means I always work hard. I always play hard. I want the same thing out of my teammates and I’m sure those guys in the locker room feel the same way, and with that mentality, the sky is the limit. As long as we do what we need to do and everybody plays to their potential anything’s possible.”
Will Aldon Smith be an impact player now that he’s returned to the NFL?