3 most likely Tyron Smith destinations after shocking Cowboys exit

Dec 10, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith (77) on the field
Dec 10, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith (77) on the field / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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Whether the Dallas Cowboys will be all-in this offseason as Jerry Jones promised remains to be seen. Executive vice president Stephen Jones didn't lend any optimism in that regard while addressing the media at the NFL Combine, but the Cowboys being "all-in" shouldn't dictate the futures of their own free agents.

Much to the chagrin of fans, Dallas' major free agency moves usually involve re-signing their own players. With no clear succession plan at left tackle, bringing back Tyron Smith should be the front office's top priority.

While the Cowboys hoped to bring Smith back for 2024, fans were dealt stunning news Saturday morning when it was reported that the eight-time Pro Bowler is expected to test the free agent waters and sign with another club. Smith and Dallas reportedly met on Friday to discuss his future and purportedly didn't come close to seeing eye-to-eye about a potential contract.

Smith returning to the Cowboys is still a possibility, but he'll undoubtedly command a strong market despite his age and injury history. That begs the question of which teams are Smith's most likely landing spots?

3. New Orleans Saints

The Saints will be one of the more interesting teams to monitor this offseason. They refuse to rebuild, so they'll seemingly look to make more win-now moves while tip-toeing around the salary cap. New Orleans need pass rushers and a defensive tackle, but their offensive line is in a terrible spot.

They hoped 2022 first-round pick Trevor Penning would become the franchise left tackle, but that dream is already dead. Penning missed most of his rookie year with injury, but he didn't play much even when he was healthy.

Entering a huge year two, Penning got off to a nightmarish start. He allowed six pressures and two sacks on his first 40 pass-blocking snaps. In six games, he allowed 19 pressures and committed seven penalties and was ultimately benched for veteran Andrus Peat.

The Saints would be foolish to hand Penning the starting gig in year three. They already have an established presence at right tackle in Ryan Ramczyk, but that shouldn't dissuade them from signing Smith ... unless they want the immobile Derek Carr running for his life all season again.

Smith would give the Saints stability at left tackle and we all know New Orleans has a propensity to be reckless with its cap room.