ESPN’s Matt Miller believes it is time for the Cowboys to move on from Smith labeling the offensive line as a “big need” this offseason. The NFL analyst labels Houston’s Patrick Paul and BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia as potential replacement options via the 2024 NFL draft.
“The Cowboys should sign or draft a left tackle to replace future Hall of Famer Tyron Smith and allow second-year player Tyler Smith to stay at guard, where he has been really good,” Miller wrote in a November 14, 2023 feature titled “2024 NFL offseason: Early positional needs for AFC, NFC teams.” “Jonah Williams might want to kick back over to the left side and hit free agency, and he could make sense if Dallas has the cap space.
“But in the draft, I like left tackles Patrick Paul (Houston) and Kingsley Suamataia (BYU) as easy-movers who fit with the Cowboys. Jerry Jones will always invest in the offensive line, and that’s especially true now with it being such a big need.”
Cowboys Rumors: Dallas Could Move on From Tyron Smith in 2024
The Cowboys are better with Smith on the field, but the one unfortunate constant has been the former Pro Bowler missing time. Through the first nine games, Smith has already missed three games.
This comes after Smith played in just four contests in 2022. Smith has missed significant time in eight straight seasons.
The veteran is in the final months of an eight-year, $97.6 million contract. Smith has been a consistent name in offseason Cowboys rumors, but Dallas opted to restructure his deal heading into 2023.
The Cowboys could look to re-sign Smith to a more team-friendly deal in free agency. Dallas must consider how this move would impact Tyler Smith’s development.
When Healthy, Tyron Smith Is Still a Major Contributor for the Dallas Cowboys
Smith’s 81.7 grade (out of 100) from Pro Football Focus indicates the veteran can still play, when healthy. The star is sure to have some form of market if Dallas opts to move on in 2024. The Athletic’s Jon Machota listed Smith as No. 4 on the most important Cowboys players for the remainder of the season.
“He might not even need practice. Because of his injury history, Tyron Smith could be better off not practicing (or being very limited) and just playing on Sundays,” Machota detailed in a November 15 article entitled “From Dak Prescott to DaRon Bland: Cowboys’ 10 most important players for second half.” “He has suffered some setbacks during practice this season. Over the last two weeks, the limited reps during the week haven’t led to any issues in the games. Smith has responded by playing some of his best ball.
“Prescott’s job is a lot easier when he doesn’t have to constantly worry about who is rushing from his blindside. Dallas’ offensive line depth is an issue. The next-best left tackle option is left guard Tyler Smith. The Cowboys are clearly better when the two Smiths are lining up together.”