Cowboys 8-Time Pro Bowler Predicted to Bolt for Jets in $12 Million Move

Mike McCarthy

Getty The Dallas Cowboys face a decision on the future of star tackle Tyron Smith.

The Dallas Cowboys face a decision on the future of several key free agents, including eight-time Pro Bowl tackle Tyron Smith. Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport offered projections for some of the top NFL free agents. The analyst predicts Smith will sign a one-year, $12 million deal with the New York Jets this offseason.

“It’s entirely possible that Smith will return to Big D,” Davenport wrote in a February 22, 2024 story titled, “Best Team Fit, Projected Contract for the Top NFL Free Agent at Every Position.” “But the Cowboys are over $20 million in the salary-cap red, and the franchise tag of just under $20 million isn’t an option.

“If Smith does hit the open market, there’s another team with Super Bowl aspirations that desperately needs to upgrade the offensive line in 2024. The New York Jets don’t have much cap space at present, but like most teams they will spend the next few weeks freeing some up,” Davenport continued.

“Once they do, the No. 1 priority has to be bolstering an offensive line that was hit hard by injuries last year and that Pro Football Network ranked in the NFL’s bottom five last season.”

Dallas Cowboys Tyron Smith Has Missed Significant Time in 8 Straight Seasons

The issue for Smith has not been productivity but availability. Smith has missed significant time in eight straight seasons with Dallas.

The veteran still graded out among some of the top offensive linemen in 2023. Pro Football Focus gave Smith an 83.8 grade for his play last season. Smith played in 13 games in 2023, the most appearances for the star since 2019.

The former All-Pro had been mentioned as a potential cap casualty last offseason. Instead, Smith agreed to revising his deal to have per game incentives in the final season of a massive eight-year, $97.6 million contract.

Cowboys Rumors: Tyron Smith Is Not Considering Retirement & Wants to Play for Dallas in 2024

The decision on Smith’s future may be up to the Cowboys. The Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins reported that Smith desires to play for the Cowboys in 2024 and is not considering retirement.

If the Dallas front office is unwilling to bring Smith back, would the veteran be willing to leave the Cowboys for the first time in his career? The Jets have needs on the offensive line, but it is hard to argue this move gets Smith closer to a Super Bowl.

“Tyron Smith, the longest-tenured player on the Cowboys, wants to play another season with the team, a person familiar with his thinking told The Dallas Morning News,” Watkins detailed in a February 19 article called, “Veteran OT Tyron Smith isn’t thinking of retirement, wants Cowboys return for 2024.”

“Smith, 33, becomes an unrestricted free agent this spring and there is uncertainty about a return. Smith has been named to eight Pro Bowl teams with two All-Pro selections. He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade 2010s team as well.”

NFL Free Agency: Dallas Cowboys Tackle Tyron Smith’s Projected Market Value Is a 1-Year, $7.4 Million Contract

The challenge for the Cowboys is there are not a plethora of available NFL offensive linemen. Even if Smith misses time, having the veteran for 13 games is likely preferable to the alternative option playing for a full season.

Sportrac projects Smith’s market value to be a one-year, $7.4 million contract. Smith could once again be willing to include an incentive-based structure based on games played in 2024.