Aldon Smith Feeling "Blessed" After NFL Reinstatement

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By 105.3 The Fan

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith is ready to begin the second phase of his NFL career.

In an interview with TMZ Sports, Smith says he feels young, healthy and "blessed by God" after being conditionally reinstated by the league following his four-year absence due to off-the-field issues.

Smith, who battled substance abuse, says he's clean and sober and is excited to get back on the gridiron.

"God has blessed me with talent," Smith said ... " And, one of the talents is my natural gift to play ball, to be an athlete.

"So, I still feel young. I don’t have the mileage on my body. I still feel great when I go to the gym. I still feel young and fresh. So, if anything, I’m looking forward to what I’m going to be able to do out there."

The Cowboys signed Smith to a one-year, $4 million incentive-laden deal last month before knowing if he'd be cleared to return. Now that he knows he's got that roadblock out of his way, Smith is thinking about having a bigger season with the Cowboys than he did in 2012 when he posted 19.5 sacks. 

"I’m an overall better person [than I was back then]," Smith says. "I got 20 sacks ... 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 last played in 2015 for Oakland, where he had 3.5 sacks in nine games, as well as 28 total tackles and eight quarterback hits. 

"My goal is to pick up where I left off. 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. I think as long as we do what we need to do and everybody plays to their potential anything’s possible."