Dallas Cowboys Appear Priced Out of Top Free Agent’s Market


Getty Images The Dallas Cowboys could struggle to re-sign All-Pro offensive tackle Tyron Smith.

The Dallas Cowboys might not be able to shop at the top of the free agent market this offseason and appear to be priced out of the market of one of their most important offensive players.

Tyron Smith is primed to enter free agency as the most coveted offensive tackle available, and according to former NFL agent and current CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry, it would seem unlikely the Cowboys can afford to bring him back for 2024.

“Smith took a pay cut from $13.6 million to a fully guaranteed $6 million,” Corry points out. “With the opportunity to earn as much as $17 million total through incentives in 2023 because of his lack of durability. Earning $5 million of the incentives increased his pay to $11 million.

“Smith should expect any deal he signs to include significant per game roster bonuses because of his injury history, much like the five year, $75 million contract (worth up to $87.5 million through incentives) left tackle Terron Armstead signed with the Miami Dolphins in 2022 as a free agent. The $15 million-per-year deal contains $1 million in annual per game roster bonuses where Armstead gets $58,823.53 for each time he’s on Miami’s game day active roster.”

Corry projects Smith’s next contract is likely to be in the range of $13.5 million per season, across two years with $20 million guaranteed and a $15 million fully-guaranteed signing bonus.

Smith remains among the premier offensive tackles in the sport, coming off a season in which he allowed just one sack, one quarterback hit, and Pro Football Focus awarded him with an 83.8 overall grade and an elite 88.6 pass-blocking grade.

Inside Dallas Cowboys’ Salary Cap Woes

The clock is ticking on the Cowboys getting cap-compliant before free agency gets underway.

As free agency and the new league year opening on March 13 rapidly approaches, Dallas remains approximately $4.03 million over the cap.

An eventual contract extension, or restructure, for quarterback Dak Prescott is bound to relieve some pressure and create some spending flexibility, but the Cowboys will likely still struggle to have enough cap space to commit to bringing a player of Smith’s caliber back.

Jerry Jones Remains All-In

Regardless of the restrictions the salary cap have over the Cowboys this offseason, owner Jerry Jones remains steadfast that the 2024 season is an all-in campaign.

“I would anticipate, with looking ahead at our key contracts that we’d like to address, we will be all-in,” Jones told reporters at this year’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. “I would anticipate we will be all-in at the end of this year.

“We will push the hell out of it. It will be going all-in on different people than you’ve done in the past. We will be going all-in. We’ve seen some things out of some of the players that we want to be all-in on. Yes, I would say that you will see us this coming year not build for the future. It’s the best way I’ve ever said. That ought to answer a lot of questions.”

Forthe Cowboys to “push the hell out of it,” for this upcoming season suggests Dallas would like to bring a reliable veteran like Smith back. Whether the Cowboys ultimately can afford to remains to be seen.

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