2. Cowboys kept Tyron Smith around
This offseason, the Cowboys moved on from Ezekiel Elliott, which was the right move. They then reworked Tyron Smith's contract, which was the wrong move.
Had they cut Smith, they could have saved anywhere from $9.595 million (pre-June-1) to $13.6 million (post-June-1 cut). Instead, they decided to make a move to keep him around for one more season. This new contract lowered his cap hit in 2023 and he can then hit the open market.
This deal might be more cap friendly for 2023 but the problem is what happens after that. Despite hitting free agency in 2024, Smith will still count for $6 million against the cap as well as another $1 million in 2025.
While it's true the NFL is loaded with teams making use of the void years in contracts, they typically do this for a player they believe will make a huge impact on the field. When it comes to Smith, expecting that is rather optimistic.
This has nothing to do with Smith's talent. The former USC Trojan is one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL but he's also one of the least durable.
Smith missed 13 games last year, six in 2021, 14 in 2020, and three in each season from 2016 through 2022. That means since the 2016 campaign, he's missed 45 games — nearly three full years worth of play.
Now heading into the year, Dallas is expecting to pay a guy for the next three years who they haven't been able to count on.