3 Cowboys free agents likely gone in 2024 (and 2 who will be back)

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Cowboys FA who will be back: Tyron Smith, OT

Tyron Smith is a legend in Dallas. He’s also someone many fans have been trying to push out of town for years. Few will argue, the former All-Pro has had durability issues over recent seasons. From 2020-2022 Smith averaged less than six game per season because of various injuries.

Even coming back for the 2023 season seemed like a longshot considering his contract, reliability issues, and Tyler Smith’s development. Keep in mind, Tyler Smith was drafted to be Tyron Smith’s heir apparent at OT. Tyron Smith was seen as a progress stopper by remaining on the team since it forced Tyler Smith to buy time at OG.

But the circumstances have changed. Tyler Smith may have found a long-term home at LG. Therefore Tyron Smith is no longer blocking progress (unless someone is somehow through the roof on Matt Waltezko or Asim Richards in 2024).

Tyron Smith also changed his own narrative in a significant way. He might not be suddenly durable, but he bounced back enormously in 2023, playing 13 games for the first time in four years and producing at elite levels in the process.

Smith wasn’t just one of the top producing LTs in the game this last season, but he was also one of the most isolated. With Terence Steele struggling at RT all year, the Cowboys couldn’t afford to roll help Tyron Smith’s way. Yet Smith thrived, giving up only one regular season sack and grading as a top-five OT in the league.

Smith isn’t going to break the bank and isn’t blocking progress. As long as he decides to keep playing, the Cowboys can likely link him to an incentive laden deal. Pushing him out of town no longer makes sence even if Smith has durability concerns.