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Tyron Smith named as Cowboys free agent they can least afford to lose

The veteran left tackle is set to hit the open market.

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NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have some big decisions ahead of them in the coming months. One of the biggest will be deciding on the future of five-time All-Pro Tyron Smith. Smith, who turned 33 in December, defied expectations and was healthy for an extended period last season. The left tackle played in 13 games, the same number he played in during every season from 2016 to 2019, and was one of the best tackles in all of football.

Smith will hit the open market this March as his eight-year, $97M extension signed back in 2014 has come to an end. Spotrac projects the veteran tackle to earn a one-year, $7M contract as a free agent this spring.

While the Cowboys do have Tyler Smith as an in-house option at left tackle if they don’t retain Smith, letting him walk in free agency would not be a smart move. Pro Football Focus agreed with this sentiment as they named Smith Dallas’ free agent they can “least afford to lose” this spring.

Here’s what PFF had to say about why the Cowboys can ill afford to let Smith go.

Smith is on the back nine of his career and can be expected to miss a game or two in any given season, but he’s been a remarkable value for Dallas going on a decade at this point. The Cowboys shouldn’t let him take a snap in another uniform if he wants to keep playing.

Smith’s 847 snaps played in 2023 were his most since 2019, and his 3.6% pressure rate allowed was third-lowest among tackles across the league.

It’s hard to disagree that if Smith does intend to keep playing, the Cowboys must do whatever it takes to keep him in Dallas. When healthy, he’s still one of the best tackles in the league, and bringing him back would help eliminate Dallas’ need to select a tackle in the draft.

BTB ran a poll on this very subject recently and you guys agreed, Smith was voted the most important free agent to re-sign in a close race with Tyler Biadasz and Stephon Gilmore.

Overall, if Tryon Smith does play another season in the NFL, it’s hard to see him doing so for a team other than the Dallas Cowboys.

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