Dallas Cowboys fans are experiencing a bevy of emotions after the team released Ezekiel Elliott on Wednesday. The move saves $10.9 million against the cap, but that won’t become official for a few months as Dallas released Elliott with a post-June 1 designation to maximize their cap savings.
Needing to get creative in the meantime to create cap room, the Cowboys announced they reworked Tyron Smith’s contract. This makes it official that Smith will return to Dallas for another season, which is great news.
It’s no secret the organization wanted Smith back. Both Jerry and Stephen Jones expected the longtime left tackle to return in 2023, and Smith will reportedly sign a one-year deal with a lower base salary to help the cap.
This is exactly the kind of pick-me-up Cowboys fans needed after Elliott’s release, which is understandably a sad time considering it wasn’t long ago he was the lifeblood of Dallas’ offense as the league’s premier running back.
Cowboys rework Tyron Smith’s contract after Ezekiel Elliott’s release.
Coming into the offseason, Elliott and Smith were viewed as two of Dallas’ most expendable veterans. They’ve been faces of the franchise from the moment they were drafted, and have been great ambassadors for the franchise. It’s uplifting to know at least one of them is returning to the Star for another year.
Smith was set to make $13.6 million in 2023, the final year of his contract. His base salary will drop some, but he can make it all back with playing-time incentives. That’s been the story with Smith over the last handful of seasons.
Since Mike McCarthy took over as head coach three years ago, the eight-time Pro Bowler has played 17 of a possible 50 games in the regular season. He logged a combined six games in 2020 and 2022, and has missed at least three games in every season dating back to 2015; his fifth in the league.
In another bit of (needed) good news, the Cowboys also restructured DeMarcus Lawrence’s contract to open up $8.89 million in cap room.
How much cap space do Cowboys have after reworking Tyron Smith, restructuring DeMarcus Lawrence?
No money was added or removed from D-Law’s deal. The defensive end reportedly had $13.35 million of his $15 million salary converted into a signing bonus. He joins Dak Prescott, Zack Martin, and most recently Michael Gallup as high-profile players the Cowboys have restructured in the last two weeks.
As of this writing, Dallas has $13.549 million in effective cap space, according to Over The Cap. That’s enough money to make a couple more additions. Remember, Elliott’s savings won’t be added to the pot until June.
The big takeaway here, though, is Tyron Smith. Cowboys fans needed this as they try to reckon with Elliott’s departure.