Cowboys reward Terence Steele with massive extension that Mike McCarthy foreshadowed

Guess there ... *is* enough money for everyone in Dallas after all?
Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys
Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

From UDFA out of Texas Tech to five years of additional security, Cowboys right tackle Terence Steele has come a long way and carved out a path for himself in Dallas' extensive offensive line legacy.

As decisions get tougher and the Cowboys must move money around in the years to come for Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Micah Parsons, and perhaps a long-term Tony Pollard pact, Jerry Jones and Co. chose to act swiftly with Steele, signing him to a five-year, $86.6 million with $50 million guaranteed.

Those who follow the NFL know that those guarantees are the only number that actually matters on the team's balance sheet. But, even so, $50 million is one heck of a money chunk for a player who didn't hear his name called on draft day, could've easily gotten lost in the various spotlights that are always flitting around Cowboys camp, and just worked ridiculously hard to return expediently from a season-ending knee injury.

In fact, when Coach Mike McCarthy addressed Steele's work ethic and rehab process last week, it should've been immediately obvious the team intended to take care of him.

Cowboys extend RT Terence Steele on five-year deal, a Mike McCarthy favorite

While discussing Steele's swift rehab, McCarthy gushed about the former UDFA's work ethic to Jon Machota, pinpointing how essential he is to the team's current operation:

"“His work ethic and just the way he goes about it, he’s always been no nonsense. He’s extremely coachable. Very bright. And he’s a glue guy. Terence is a stud.”"

Mike McCarthy

Zack Martin's recent holdout was complicated by Jones and the front office repeatedly insisting that they knew they had to take care of Parsons and couldn't grow money on trees.

Luckily, Martin's situation was settled before Steele's contract hit the wire, because things could've gotten even more complicated otherwise.

There's always a way out, and Prescott's future, if it wasn't already clouded by Dallas' wild card Trey Lance trade (it probably wasn't, but...), just got even murkier. For now, a Cowboys coaching staff favorite is staying put on a deal that has to keep him satisfied. It's a deal that he's earned.