Cowboys 8-Time Pro Bowl Star May Abruptly Retire: Report

Jerry Jones

Getty Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones speaks to the media at a press conference.

The Dallas Cowboys face several difficult decisions about the future of some of their stars including eight-time Pro Bowl offensive linemen Tyron Smith. The 32-year-old veteran still has one season remaining on his eight-year, $97.6 million contract and is slated to have a $13.6 million salary for 2023. Smith has been a popular name mentioned as a potential cap casualty candidate this offseason.

If Dallas were to release Smith, the Cowboys would still take an $8 million dead cap hit, per Spotrac. According to former Cowboys scout Bryan Broaddus, Smith is likely to consider retiring before playing for another team this season.

“I tell you what, there’s a side of me that believes and this is because it’s been reported to me, that if they were to trade or to cut Tyron Smith, he would be done,” Broaddus explained during a February 12, 2023 episode of the “Love of the Star” podcast. “He would just retire. If they were to trade him or cut him, he would just quit. …I think that’s kind of where we’re at right now.”

Dallas Is Likely to Cut Tyron Smith, Says Ex-Cowboys Scout

Ultimately, the former scout turned analyst sees the Cowboys moving on from both Smith and Jason Peters this offseason. Broaddus believes the Cowboys are likely to prioritize restricted free agent Terence Steele and move on from both veterans. Smith is a two-time All-Pro but has missed significant time with multiple injuries in seven straight seasons.

“So, I feel like that we’ve probably seen the last of Tyron Smith,” Broaddus added. “I know that Jerry [Jones] talked about him and Jason Peters. I think that’s Jerry being really nice because the one meeting that’s going to matter is this meeting they’re going to have before they go to the Combine at the end of the month.

“That’s the meeting that’s going to matter, okay. Because that’s the one that’s going to dictate when they get on that bus outside the Marriott there in Indianapolis when the agents come in and they close the door and they start to really negotiate. That’s where you’re going to know their team. There is a side of me [that thinks] Jason Peters, no. Tyron Smith, likely not. I feel like that’s a ‘move on’ right there.”

The Cowboys Are Expected to Approach Ezekiel Elliott About Taking a Pay Cut

One other key Cowboys player who faces an uncertain future in Dallas is Ezekiel Elliott. The star running back still has four seasons remaining on a six-year, $90 million contract, but Dallas has a potential out in Elliott’s deal this offseason. Dallas could release Elliott but would take an $11.8 million dead cap hit, per Spotrac, leaving a potential contract restructure as another option to keep the running back in Big D. Heavy Sports’ NFL insider Matt Lombardo reported that the Cowboys are expected to approach Elliott about taking a pay cut.

“Some inside the league believe Elliott and the Cowboys could be headed for a stare down,” Lombardo detailed. “Talking to multiple league sources in Mobile, Alabama ahead of the Senior Bowl, there’s a strong belief inside the NFL that the Cowboys will approach Elliott about taking a pay cut and use the franchise tag on fellow back Tony Pollard.

“That’s because even if the Cowboys wanted to move on from Elliott completely, a post-June 1 release would create $10.9 million in cap space but also trigger a dead-money charge of $11.8 million combined in 2023 and 2024.”

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