Cowboys Appear to Have Change of Heart on $97 Million 8-Time Pro Bowler

Jerry Jones

Getty Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones throws up a thumbs up before an NFL game.

Tyron Smith had been mentioned as a potential cap casualty for the Dallas Cowboys this offseason, but all signs point to the eight-time Pro Bowler being back in Big D next season. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Cowboys are working on restructuring Smith’s contract to keep the veteran offensive lineman in Dallas.

“The Cowboys are working on a resolution to bring eight-time Pro Bowler Tyron Smith back for a 13th season, which could include a reworked contract, per sources,” Fowler tweeted on March 8, 2023. “Smith is due $13.6 million in the final year of his deal.”

Smith in entering the final season of an eight-year, $97.6 million contract and is slated to have a $13.6 million salary in 2023. The Cowboys would have to take an $8 million dead cap hit if the team opted to release Smith, per Spotrac.

Injuries have played a major factor in Smith’s availability in recent years with the veteran missing significant time in seven straight seasons. Smith played just four games in 2022 as the two-time All-Pro sustained a torn hamstring and an avulsion fracture during training camp.

Tyron Smith Would Consider Retirement If Released by the Cowboys: Report

Prior to the recent news, former Cowboys scout Bryan Broadus predicted the team would move on from the franchise tackle this offseason. Smith would have considered retiring if Dallas opted to release the veteran, per Broaddus.

“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 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 also faces a decision with restricted free agent Terence Steele. The Cowboys placed a second-round tender on Steele heading into free agency.

Will the Cowboys Cut Ezekiel Elliott?

With all signs pointing to the return of Smith, could Dallas also look to bring back Ezekiel Elliott? The star running back still has four seasons remaining on a $90 million deal, but the team is unlikely to bring back the playmaker at the $10.9 million salary he is slated to have in 2023. This number escalates up to $16.6 million in 2026.

With the Cowboys already placing the franchise tag on Tony Pollard, there is mounting pressure on Elliott to restructure his contract. Heavy Sports NFL insider Matt Lombardo reported that Dallas plans to push Elliott to take a “massive” pay cut, something the running back may be unwilling to do.

“But as free agency approaches in March, that pay cut is expected to be massive, with one source telling me he isn’t certain Elliott will take it,” Lombardo detailed on February 16. “

This info seems to jibe with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting that Elliott’s agent will gauge his value and make a decision on his future during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. But, regardless of how this situation plays out, it appears anything but certain that Elliott is a Dallas Cowboy Week 1 of the 2023 season, and certainly won’t be at his current cap number.”

Read More