Cowboys' Stephen Jones: Aldon Smith Has Met with Roger Goodell on Reinstatement

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2020

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 15:  Aldon Smith #99 of the Oakland Raiders looks on during a timeout against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter of their NFL football game at O.co Coliseum on November 15, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said Friday that pass-rusher Aldon Smith has met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell regarding reinstatement to the league.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Jones noted that he isn't sure when Smith and fellow pass-rusher Randy Gregory will get reinstated:

"We haven't heard anything. I do know for sure Aldon has been in front of the Commissioner. He's waiting to hear back. I think Randy may or—I'm not exactly sure where that is. Sometimes we're not privy to that. We're not sure when we'll hear something. Obviously, the league is looking out for their best interest. As men off the field and certainly that's what's first and foremost and the priority is how they're coming off the field. If ultimately they get to a point which we think they can that Roger [Goodell] feels like they can come back to work and play football and that's in their best interest in addition to what they need off the field, then certainly we'll welcome them back and go to work."

Smith has not appeared in an NFL game since 2015 because of multiple suspensions for violating the substance abuse and personal conduct policies, but the Cowboys signed him to a one-year deal this offseason.

Smith entered the NFL in 2011 as a first-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers and made an instant impact, but after serving a nine-game suspension in 2014 for multiple violations and then getting arrested on suspicion of drunken driving for the third time since entering the NFL, the Niners released him prior to the 2015 season.

He spent 2015 with the then-Oakland Raiders, but during that season the NFL suspended him one year for violating the substance abuse policy.

Smith was not reinstated for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, and the Raiders released him in 2018 following his involvement in an alleged domestic violence incident.

Smith's situation is more complicated than most since his suspensions were a result of violating more than one NFL policy, but the new collective bargaining agreement is far more lenient when it comes to drug-related discipline.

Jones addressed how that might impact Smith's return:

"Well, it's just now getting implemented with the new CBA. So we'll see as we move forward. I know Roger his staff are getting their hands around it. ... I think at the end of the day we're gonna have something here that's in the best interest for the players. All the things that you're speaking of are going to be taken into account. As we move forward we'll have a much better feel for how this is gonna work."

When Smith played, he was dominant. Smith recorded 14 sacks as a rookie in 2011 and then racked up a career-high 19.5 sacks in 2012, which netted him Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors.

Most recently, Smith had 28 tackles and 3.5 sacks in nine games, including seven starts, for the Raiders in 2015.

All told, Smith has 47.5 career sacks in 59 regular-season games, plus 5.5 sacks in eight playoff contests.

The Cowboys have one of the NFL's best defensive ends in DeMarcus Lawrence, but they could use another big-time threat off the edge after finishing just 19th in the NFL last season with 39 sacks. Smith could be the missing piece if he receives his reinstatement.