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Aldon Smith has a successful return to the Cowboys

Opening Kickoff
“Opening Kickoff” by jdtornow is licensed with CC BY 2.0.

After a five year hiatus, defensive end Aldon Smith has seen an excellent return to NFL through the Cowboys. The former Oakland Raiders player was brought back to the NFL in this years’ pre-season in hopes to boost the Cowboys up in their own standings. Smith had previously been put on leave indefinitely due to substance abuse, but his excellent history as a defensive end makes his return sweet – it’s sure to be a welcome sight for Dallas fans.

Due to his substance abuse issues, Smith had been suspended since his 2015 season with the Raiders. According to ESPN, he had been in violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policies, as well as their policy regarding personal conduct after being charged with a DUI and hit-and-run charges1.  Since recovering, he has been working tirelessly to turn his situation around and get himself back into professional football, even going so far as to meet with some of the league’s top officials.

Smith has played in the NFL as a defensive end since the age of 22, originally joining the San Francisco 49ers for their 2011 season as a first-round draft pick. Prior to that, he was recruited from high school to play football for the Missouri Tigers, where he stayed for two years, from 2008 to 2010, before moving onto the NFL. Despite only reaching his sophomore year in college at Mizzou, Smith received multiple awards in the Big 12 conference2. Though his time in college was brief and arguably too short, it is only reflective of his love for the game above all else.

We have been exhilarated to watch Smith’s return to the gridiron after so many years away. It seems that the time off has only improved the returning defensive end’s already great game. Smith has been leading the Cowboys defense since his return, solidifying the reason the Cowboys brought him back from forced retirement in the first place. The team has been struggling enormously so far this season, with only two wins over the course of seven games. In an exceptional start to the season, Smith made four sacks in the Dallas team’s first three games. He’s slowed his roll a little since those first few games, but has still been a relentless fixture on the defensive line. Of the seven eventful games so far, Smith has made a combined 32 tackles3. Though this hasn’t been the best year for the rest of the team, Smith has most definitely proved that he’s capable of making a comeback after years away from the sport.

This 2020 season still has nine more games left for the Cowboys, so it is yet to see if the team will improve in the leaderboards. Dallas fans are absolutely hopeful that the team will start getting some W’s under its belt, living up to the winning standard of Cowboys’ history. We’re excited to see more of Aldon Smith’s extraordinary defensive prowess, and look forward to watching him and the Cowboys in the next nine games of the season.