3 reasons why the Cowboys should keep Tyron Smith

Tyron Smith #77 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Tyron Smith #77 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys /

1. Dallas isn’t spending all of their money on him

Williams is the best tackle in the NFL and his salary reflects that of his play. Williams will turn 34 this offseason and with a salary of just over $23 million a year, he is also deserving of that money.

If production equals monetary compensation, 31-year-old Smith should be paid amongst the highest as well correct? It should be noted that his average annual salary is not among the top five left tackles in the game. You might ask, “what about the top ten?” The answer would be a surprising no.

Smith’s contract averages $12.2 million a year which places him 17th on the list of left tackles annual salaries. Severely underpaid is an understatement. You also haven’t heard a peep about him complaining about his salary. His bookend, La’el Collins, makes an annual average salary of $10 million a year according to Over The Cap, making this tandem a colossal deal.

In terms of average annual salary, that means the Dallas Cowboys roughly pay Smith, Collins, and Terence Steele less money ($22.9 million) than San Francisco does to Williams ($23.01 million) alone.

The New Orleans Saints offensive tackle tandem is considered one of the best in the NFL and together, their average annual salary is roughly $32.2 million. That’s almost $10 million more per year than the top three Cowboys players.

Moving on from Smith to make room for Steele is pure fantasy at this point for me. Forget the fact that Dallas can create around $8.2 million simply by restructuring his deal. The point comes from his replacement.

If traded or released, the best the Cowboys can do with Smith is to eat just over $4 million in dead money. Other than a restructure, letting him go gives you zero cap space. Dallas spent valuable cap space in the past on a swing tackle so eating up $4 million while having to find and pay another swing tackle through free agency is ridiculous.

While we are at it, so is the notion of spending a first-round pick on a position the Cowboys are especially rich at. I am not in favor of letting go of a mainstay for the unknown. Drafting offensive tackles in the first round is no longer a guarantee. Dallas paid Cam Flemming $3.5 million for one year to be their swing tackle for the 2018 season. Cam Erving came to Dallas on a $2.5 million deal for the same role. That means Dallas would have to spend more cap space on the position to get worse.