Tyron Smith and Cowboys Negotiations Take Shocking Final Turn

It's the end of an era for the Dallas Cowboys, losing their longest-tenured player.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

How quickly things can change in the NFL. Only a few days ago, the Dallas Cowboys and Tyron Smith looked like they were on the brink of a contract extension that would bring the veteran offensive lineman back to Dallas for another season. Fast forward to Saturday and the longest-tenured Cowboy on the roster is leaving.

According to Ian Rapoport, the All-Pro offensive tackle is "unlikely to return to Dallas" and will be a free agent.

Cowboys News: LT Tyron Smith Likely to Leave in Free Agency

Smith has been a key piece for the Cowboys offensive unit ever since he was drafted in 2011. He famously signed a massive below-market deal with Dallas in 2014 and played out the entire eight-year contract without restructuring it. The 33-year-old had always expressed his loyalty and gratitude towards the organization and Jerry Jones.

That is why this comes as a surprise. There seems to have been a mutual interest in running it back for another season. But perhaps the Cowboys' salary cap situation proved to be too complicated.

The Cowboys have limited cap space this offseason and want to be players in free agency. They had drafted Tyler Smith with their first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and he will likely replace the veteran tackle going forward.

When healthy, Tyron Smith is still one of the best in his position, so he will be difficult to replace. But, he struggled with staying on the field over the last few seasons. That shouldn't, however, stop teams from lining up at his door for an immediate upgrade to their offensive line.

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