clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What Tyron Smith's New Contract Tells About Josh Brent's Future With The Cowboys

The two events may seem to be largely unconnected, but there is a direct link between the contract Tyron Smith agreed to and the anticipated return of Josh Brent to the Dallas Cowboys.

Something we may see in Oxnard very soon.
Something we may see in Oxnard very soon.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Josh Brent has completed his sentence and the ensuing treatment program after his conviction for intoxicated manslaughter in the death of his friend and teammate Jerry Brown. He is now expected to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to apply for reinstatement. If that is approved, as anticipated, his next stop should be Oxnard, California and the Dallas Cowboys training camp.

Coincidentally, the same day this was reported, the Cowboys came to terms with Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith on a very surprising eight-year contract extension. It is surprising because of its length, and because once you start digging into the details of the deal, it is also amazingly friendly to the Cowboys. This is proof that the hometown discount does exist, however rare it is.

It seems like these are two very different events, linked only by the fact the men were once, and may shortly be again, teammates. But it goes much deeper. The reasoning behind Smith getting on board with such a favorable deal ties directly to why Josh Brent has a second chance waiting for him with the Cowboys.

It is a story of two men, blessed with superb athletic skill and the pure size needed to play in the trenches of the NFL. Each beset with troubles that threatened their career, in Brent's case effectively ending it so that he must attempt a restart. And both finding that, despite the harshness and cold reality of working for an NFL team, they had something more. They had people on that team that believed in them and wanted to help them.

Given that one of those people was named Jerry Jones, that meant quite a bit.

Smith put it very clearly in the statement he released after he signed.

Over the past three years, the Cowboys organization and Jones Family have helped me through trying times and I felt this was my opportunity to return the gratitude. I am beyond grateful for the Cowboys staff, my teammates, and the fans, and wanted to ensure I was locked in as a "Cowboy for Life". I want to thank everyone for their support and look forward to having a star on my helmet for the remainder of my career.

For those that might not be familiar with what Smith is referring to, we covered it here at Blogging The Boys. Basically, he was forced to resort to the legal system for help with family members who were making incessant demands on him to share his NFL pay.

According to all the reporting I have seen on Smith, he is described as a great young man from a good background, with none of the issues that plagued (Dez) Bryant. Yet he's been suffering through what is reported to be an extended series of confrontations and problems. It was so bad, he had to get a protective order forbidding his own parents and siblings from coming to training camp in Oxnard, which is about two hours' drive from his parents home. And one of his family members had to be removed from camp.

While it was generally thought that the team was assisting Smith in getting through these issues, it seems clear from his statement that the help was more involved than we realized. Given the situation, I cannot fault the Cowboys for keeping this out of the media.

Oh, that reference to Dez Bryant, who is now next in line for a major contract extension? He had his own problems with his family. His mother charged him with assault, and once again the team stood by him, going to some pretty involved measures to help him get through it all with his career intact. This was at a time when many in the media were basically calling for him to be thrown out of the game, largely due to a lack of facts about the situation.

This is simply the way the Dallas Cowboys, under Jerry Jones, do business. I am not holding them up as some paragon of the NFL, because I know other organizations in the league have also aided players in trouble. I am just doing this to point out that holding the door open for Brent's return is entirely consistent with how the team has treated its star players. And it is a good thing that they will offer the same consideration to a lesser light as to players they are willing to invest up to nine figures in over the course of their careers.

For that matter, it apparently is not just active players or those who can return to the club that get help.

Like I said, this is the way things are for Jerry Jones' team. He has always had a great affection and loyalty for his players. At times, it was expressed in financially inefficient ways, like big contracts to fading players. That seems to have been controlled, but it is encouraging to see that he is still trying to find ways to help his players, past and present, with the important stuff.

As for Brent, he still has to apply for and be granted reinstatement, and deal with any suspensions that may be attached. Then he has to get back into football shape, which may take a while. But he has already taken care of one very important step, one that wasn't required by the NFL or the team. It was just what had to be done.

Many people have issues with Josh Brent coming back to the Cowboys. The Cowboys don't. They don't see him as just a player that may be able to help at some point in the season. They see him as a flawed man who needs a second chance. Is he deserving of a second chance?

Is anybody really deserving after they mess up? Fortunately, many of us get that reprieve. I think Brent should get his. If you don't then feel free to politely express your own opinion in the comments. It is a serious and sensitive topic, so be respectful of those who might disagree with you.

Follow me @TomRyleBTB

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys