The Dallas Cowboys picked up the fifth year option on tackle Tyron Smith, but that is only a temporary solution. He has proven to be a dominant force and should remain in Dallas for at least the next decade.
The initial fifth year option keeps Smith in Dallas through 2015. It doesn’t guarantee the Cowboys will get a long-term deal done with him, but it’s hard to imagine that isn’t the objective.
This move also pushes back Smith’s ability to become a free agent. Now, he isn’t slated to hit free agency until 2016. I highly doubt he would ever get to that point with the Cowboys seemingly willing to give him a big extension.
The only way he would get to free agency is if Smith didn’t like the figures he was given and felt disrespected. If he did become a free agent I think teams would let Smith name his price.
Smith, 23, has shown he can play against top level competition consistently. He earned his first Pro Bowl selection last year, which will likely be the first of many. He was also instrumental in helping DeMarco Murray reach his first Pro Bowl in 2013. Murray rushed for 1,121 yards and nine touchdown which were both career highs.
Dez Bryant is also on the short list of players the Cowboys would like to keep in Dallas long term. Bryant is an athletic freak, but in my opinion, Smith is the more important guy to keep long term. Protecting the quarterback is the biggest key to a successful team. If Tony Romo is on the ground, it doesn’t matter how good Dez is.
Obviously, nobody is making the Cowboys pick between the two and it’s likely both will wear the star on on their helmet for many years to come.
The Cowboys are building a strong offensive line after having it be one of their biggest weaknesses for several years. Young, skilled, and intelligent players like Travis Frederick, Ronald Leary and Smith provide the ability to achieve offensive balance and production.
If the Cowboys want to continue their success within the division while pushing for playoff births they must sign Smith for the foreseeable future.