Jerry Jones caught sleeping again as Cowboys lose perfect Tyron Smith replacement

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

We've noticed a trend around the NFL during free agency. When a team loses an important player, they usually move quickly to replace them. While most of the losses the Dallas Cowboys have suffered haven't been back-breaking, Tyron Smith's departure could be devastating for the offensive line.

To rub salt in the wound, Smith signed an incentive-laden deal with the Jets, who reportedly were surprised Smith accepted their offer. Many within New York's building believed Smith would get something between $10-15 million per year.

While Smith can make up to $20 million, that hinges on him staying healthy to hit his playing incentives. Ultimately, Smith got $6.5 million guaranteed. Even with his health concerns, that's a bargain for a player of Smith's caliber.

Now, fans are eager to see how the Cowboys replace the 33-year-old. It's widely expected they'll spend a first-round pick on a tackle, but signing a veteran free agent for experience and depth seemed obvious.

Unfortunately, the obvious is obscure to owner Jerry Jones, who missed out on a perfect replacement for Smith on Tuesday when the Bengals agreed to terms with Trent Brown.

Jerry Jones blows it as Cowboys lose perfect Tyron Smith replacement

So let's get this straight. The Bengals lost right tackle Jonah Williams to the free agent frenzy and then signed Brown, who has experience at both tackle positions, to replace him? What a concept. Similarly, the Lions signed longtime Ravens guard Kevin Zeitler after 2023 starter Jonah Jackson signed with the Rams.

How do the Cowboys respond after losing their most important lineman? Signing a backup running back and announcing their 2024 coaching staff.

While Brown has health concerns of his own, he's played 28 games the last two seasons. When healthy, though, he's a world-beater. At 6-foot-8 and 370 pounds, Brown gives the Bengals a mountain of a blocker at right tackle and he'll form an excellent pairing with left tackle Orlando Brown Jr.

According to Next Gen Stats, Brown's 7.1% allowed pressure rate in one-on-one situations last season was the second-lowest rate among tackles only to Tyron Smith. Additionally, Brown's 80.2 run-blocking grade placed sixth among 70 qualified tackles. He also allowed the fifth-fewest pressures and second-fewest hurries at the position, per Pro Football Focus.

Regardless of whether the Cowboys plan to draft a tackle with the No. 24 overall pick, this signing was begging to be made. Brown's presence would have allowed the draft pick to develop at his own pace. His ability to play right tackle in a pinch also would've given Dallas needed insurance behind Terence Steele, who was one of the worst tackles in football last season.

Normally, the Cowboys would be able to pivot to another free agent, but Brown was the last decent starting tackle option remaining.

Jerry Jones might as well be hibernating at this point.

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