Just when Cowboys Nation thought they saw the last of their former All Pro tackle, Stephen Jones goes and turns the off-season on it’s head. I discussions with reporters at the annual NFL Combine, Jones made his intentions clear: Tyron Smith is coming back in 2023.
Smith, Dallas’ top pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, has had a Hall of Fame worthy career for the Cowboys. But after multiple injuries have reduced him to under six regular season games per year over the last three seasons, his price tag looked too big for his contributions.
Stephen Jones has assured Cowboys fans of Tyron Smith’s return next season.
As if the that news wasn’t surprising enough, Jones said he isn’t demanding a pay-cut or expecting a renegotiation. That’s not to say a contract reworking is off the table…
Jones kept the possibility alive that some kind of reworking could be on the table. Smith’s return just wasn’t contingent upon it. Smith’s return will keep money tight in Dallas. The Cowboys are up against the cap and have multiple players like Donovan Wilson and Leighton Vander Esch looking for new deals.
Dallas is also expecting to make use of the franchise tag once again this off-season. The question is who will it go to. The top two candidates are Tony Pollard and Dalton Schultz.
Schultz was tagged last season and played well but the tight ends behind him stepped up in a big way in 2022 and look like they could take the reigns, rendering Schultz likely a loss in free agency. Pollard, on the other hand, has been assured his return. A long-term deal in a short period of time will probably be tricky so he’s the odds-on favorite to get the tag this off-season.
Things are starting to get clearer as the off-season progresses. Decisions are being made and courses are being set. For fans who have overwhelmed by the number of directions this team could take, this offers clarity.
Tyron Smith will return to Dallas in 2023 and its not contingent on him reworking his contract. While a renegotiation will likely take place at some point in time, it’s not the sticking point many of us thought it would be.