Dallas Cowboys – Jason Peters saga, unresolved, but why?

: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

After traveling to The Star in Frisco to meet with Dallas Cowboys brass, former All-Pro tackle, Jason Peters, left without an agreement in place. The mercurial offensive tackle was visiting to presumably fill the roster spot left my Tyron Smith, who will be out most, if not all, of the upcoming season.

The Dallas Cowboys initially balked at the idea of bringing in an outside band-aid. They cryptically spoke of filling the starting LT spot from within, then recently specified the rookie Tyler Smith would be said internal solution.

To say their solution came with risk is a massive understatement. Smith wasn’t exactly the most polished prospect in the draft and starts his pro career abnormally raw for a first round linemen. After giving him practice reps almost exclusively at LG, Dallas pivoted in the wake of Tyron Smith’s injury, pushing the rookie outside and praying for the best.

It’s tough to tell whether the interest in Jason Peters was as potential starter at LT or as an insurance policy should Smith falter. What we know is that Peters left Dallas without an agreement in place.

The Dallas Cowboys desperately need to add Jason Peters to their unstable O-line but there are reasons this could be dragging

The Dallas Cowboys were uncomfortably thin at OT even before the Tyron injury. Both starting OTs came with questions and the depth behind them was nothing short of frightening. Adding a veteran seemed like a smart move before, and an imperative move today.

So why delay the signing if we know a need is there and Jason Peters is the best man left on the market?

As they often say this time of year, “He’s on the market for a reason.” Peters is 40-years-old and regularly hampered with injuries. While he played 15 games last season, he regularly limped on and off the field. He still took 88% of the snaps but it was awkward to see replacements shuffle in and out throughout games.

The star offensive tackle made a name for himself in Philadelphia for roughly a decade-and-a-half. Last year he played in Chicago on a modest one year deal  and performed quite well. All of the top film gurus have weighed in on the matter and given Peters’ performance a thumbs up. When he’s in there, he’s good.

It stands to reason he’s not demanding much by way of contract. He played for under $3million last season so you’d expect the price tag to in the same vicinity this season. And sitting on the second most unspent cash in the league, the Dallas Cowboys can surely afford it.

At the end of the day, Peters clearly wants to play and the Dallas Cowboys clearly have a need.

There could be disagreement over guarantees – both financial and role. The Cowboys may want to sign him after week one so they can avoid veteran guarantees in his contract and keep him on a week to week basis.

Or perhaps Peters wants a guaranteed starting gig and Dallas is more inclined to let their rookie compete for it. Or maybe it’s the hope that Tyron can come back in December and reclaim the LT1 role.

At the end of the day, Peters clearly wants to play and the Dallas Cowboys clearly have a need. Should the deal be done right now? Yes, the Cowboys can’t afford to slow-play this because the LT spot is too important to the season to get cute. But the guarantees are likely the hold up and as long as both sides remain patient there’s logic behind this delay.

Stay tuned…