2 reasons the Cowboys would be smart to keep Tyron Smith in 2023
2. “You can’t have enough” offensive linemen
Executive Vice President Stephen Jones minced the words “you can’t get enough of these guys” when talking about offensive linemen last week to reporters.
He expects Smith to be back next season, but if things change and the Cowboys feel like they could his money elsewhere to save cap space, they should think again.
Last year was a perfect example of why it’s never a bad thing to have too many offensive linemen. Smith missed most of the season, Steele missed the end of the season with a torn ACL, Jason Peters missed some games with various injuries, Tyler Biadasz missed one game with an ankle injury and Matt Waletzko missed almost all of his rookie season with a shoulder injury.
Assuming Steele, who is a restricted free agent, comes back to the team and is available for Week 1, here’s how they will likely lineup on the offensive line:
- LT: Tyron Smith
- LG: Tyler Smith
- C: Tyler Biadasz
- RG: Zack Martin
- RT: Terence Steele
If you release Smith, the team is likely looking at Waletzko, Josh Ball, Matt Farnoik, or a rookie replacing him along the offensive line. Connor McGovern is also a free agent, so unless the Cowboys can bring him back on a small deal, he will likely leave.
If you take away Smith on the offensive line, it’s most certaintly not as strong — especially when the team would likely replace him with an inexperienced player or a free agent on a cheap deal like a Cameron Fleming.
The Cowboys offensive line has been a powerhouse and there’s no reason to not believe that Smith can’t still play at an elite level. He just turned 32 years old and still has much more in the tank to contribute on an All-Pro level.
At the end of the day, the Cowboys have to clear cap space to sign free agents. However, that shouldn’t come from Smith, who is a Hall of Famer when it is all set and done. Teams don’t cut one of the best players on their roster just to clear a little bit of money.
Yes, the eight-time Pro Bowler has to stay healthy next season. But the Cowboys are giving themselves a much better chance to win a Super Bowl with Smith than without him.