Aldon Smith, shown tackling Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, has been suspended by the NFL since 2015. The seventh overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, Smith, who set an NFL record for most sacks during the first two years of a career with 33.5 in 2011 and 2012, has reportedly been reinstated. Don Wright/Associated Press


Dallas Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith has been conditionally reinstated by the NFL, sources told the Forth Worth Star-Telegram on Wednesday. Smith will be eligible to participate with the Cowboys starting Tuesday.

Smith, the seventh overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, has been out of the league since 2015, placed on an indefinite suspension after repeated violations of the substance policy and personal conduct policy.

But the Cowboys are hoping that he’s able to resurrect his career with them. He’ll have familiar faces in the organization.

The Cowboys hired Jim Tomsula to coach their defensive line this offseason. Tomsula coached Smith with the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-15.

Smith and Cowboys Coach Mike McCarthy also met in January at Fox Sports NFL analyst Jay Glazer’s Unbreakable gym in Los Angeles.

“When we met, it seemed like we had known each other,” Smith said of McCarthy’s visit, via an interview with Glazer. “That was really important to me because going through this process, I wanted to surround myself with people who I felt that connection with. I felt like he genuinely cares about me and what I’m trying to do. Just me as a man.

“That obviously played a vital role. And Jimmy is there, Jimmy Tomsula. He was my coach when I was in San Francisco, and we had a great relationship there. The pieces fit.”

The Cowboys gave Smith a one-year deal worth as much as $4 million if he hit all his incentives. His contract was contingent on being reinstated.

Smith will receive $90,000 once he is reinstated by the NFL. Thirty days after reinstatement, he will get another $50,000. He will receive $100,000 when he shows up to training camp, another $100,000 after two preseason games and $100,000 at the end of the preseason.

His base salary will be $910,000, but he will get $40,625 every time he is on the active gameday roster, for a possible additional $650,000. Other incentives include $500,000 for eight sacks, $1 million for 10 sacks, $1.5 million for 12 sacks and $2 million for 14 sacks.

The bigger question is, can he regain some of his past dominance on the field?

Smith set an NFL record for most sacks during the first two years of a career with 33.5 in 2011 and 2012. He had 42 sacks in his first 43 games.

Anything he contributes will be a plus for the Cowboys, who desperately need help at defensive end.

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