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Aldon Smith Conditionally Reinstated By NFL


FRISCO, Texas – At long last, an update about one of the biggest acquisitions of the Cowboys' offseason.

Back in April, the team signed veteran pass rusher Aldon Smith to a one-year contract, pending a reinstatement to the NFL. The former All-Pro had been serving an indefinite suspension and hasn't appeared in a game since 2015.

On Wednesday afternoon, Smith was conditionally reinstated after a video teleconference with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Smith will be officially reinstated to the active roster on May 26. 

This is a bit of an expected development, but still a big one. When they signed him earlier this spring, the Cowboys had optimism that Smith would eventually be reinstated. But that's still a far cry from actually getting him back from suspension.

Now that he has been reinstated, Smith can take part in team activities – including the team's virtual offseason meetings, which have been taking place since April 20. Effective immediately, Smith he can join the Cowboys' teleconferences and begin the process of meshing with the Cowboys' other defensive linemen.

It's the first step in what is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing storylines in the entire NFL. Originally selected No. 7 overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2011 NFL Draft, Smith racked up 33.5 sacks in his first three seasons, including a 19.5-sack effort during the 49ers' run to Super Bowl XLVII in 2012.

From there, the off-field issues began. Smith faced numerous legal problems and NFL disciplinary issues in the following years, eventually leading to his release from the 49ers. He signed with the Oakland Raiders in 2015 and played nine games before he was indefinitely suspended – where he has been to this point.

All indications are that Smith has gotten things back on track in the past year, paving the way to a potential reinstatement. Now that he has gotten it, he can set his sights on recapturing that previous productivity.

If he can, it would be quite the story – both for Smith and the team that took a chance on him.