Cowboys Make Surprising Decision on Tyron Smith’s Future: Report

Tyron Smith

Getty The Cowboys will likely move on from longtime tackle Tyron Smith.

The Dallas Cowboys are expected to move on from a longtime veteran.

According to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Cowboys and tackle Tyron Smith are expected to go their separate ways. Smith will be a free agent in March.

“End of an era: #Cowboys All-Pro and Pro Bowl LT Tyron Smith will be a free agent and is unlikely to return to Dallas, sources say,” writes Rapoport on Saturday, March 2. “The blindside protector since 2011, Smith will be highly coveted.”

According to Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News, the two sides are “drastically apart” when it comes to the financial side of a potential deal. He also doesn’t officially rule out a reunion between both sides.

“Cowboys have interest in re-signing LT Tyron Smith, but it became clear at combine the two sides stand drastically apart in the financial framework on how that could occur, two people close to matter said,” wrote Gehlken on Saturday, March 2. “Team not ruling out reunion. Would require a major divide to be bridged.”

Why Cowboys Are Moving on From Tyron Smith

The 33-year-old Smith remains one of the best tackles in the league. According to Pro Football Focus, Smith posted an 83.7 offensive grade and 89.3 pass-blocking grade. Among full-time tackles, Smith ranked fourth in offensive grade and led the NFL in pass-blocking grade.

However, health and availability has been a major issue for Smith over the years. While he remained relatively healthy during the 2023 season — his 13 games played were his most since the 2019 season — he hasn’t played a full season since the 2015 season.

Smith is the longest-tenured player on the roster and has been a remarkable model of consistency over the past decade-plus. The former first-round draft pick has been named to eight Pro Bowls and five All-Pro selections since the 2013 season. He was also named to the All-Decade Team of the 2010’s.

However, it’s clear the Cowboys are likely concerned regarding Smith’s injury despite his high level of play when he is healthy. The move is surprising because of Smith’s productivity last season; however, Smith may value himself higher than what Dallas values him at based upon his injury history and age.

According to Spotrac, Smith’s market value is just $7.4 million per season despite his productive 2023 season. Before new contracts are signed in free agency, that type of deal would rank just 18th among all left tackles.

Over the course of his 13 seasons in Dallas, Smith started all 161 of his appearances, playing mostly the left tackle position while also starting at right tackle.

The Cowboys have done their due diligence in scouting tackles at the NFL Combine, with Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton — Bleacher Report ranks him as the fifth-best tackle and a projected second-round pick — and Howard’s Anim Dankwah — the largest tackle in the draft at 6-foot-8 and 360 pounds — confirming that they’ve both met with the Cowboys.

With Smith likely on the way out, Dallas has a major void to fill to protect Dak Prescott’s blindside. They’ll look to get younger whether that’s through the draft or free agency.

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