Tyron Smith takes subtle shot at Cowboys after free agency departure

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys
Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

Free agency took a dark turn for the Dallas Cowboys late Friday night when left tackle Tyron Smith agreed to a deal with the Jets. There were certainly worse landing spots for Smith, but it'll take some getting used to watching Smith protect the blindside of Aaron Rodgers, who's broken Cowboys fans' hearts on two separate occasions in the playoffs.

Whether the Cowboys regret letting Smith go will be decided by how their next left tackle performs. Whether that's Tyler Smith or a potential 2024 first-round pick remains to be seen, but the initial reviews on the decision aren't great.

It's unclear if Dallas made Smith an offer, but the 33-year-old got the impression early on that he wasn't coming back. Smith and the Cowboys met about a potential return, but were miles apart in contract negotiations.

Afters agreeing to terms with the Jets, Smith revealed an ugly truth about the Cowboys' offseason to insider Josina Anderson.

Tyron Smith reveals ugly truth about Cowboys after free agency departure

“It’s kind of like where the chips have fallen for this offseason," Smith said.

That's exactly where the chips have fallen in Dallas this offseason. EVP Stephen Jones has spread the narrative that cap constraints are preventing them from spending in free agency. In actuality, though, they could rework contracts or have seen to it that Dak Prescott's extension was already signed to create more cap room. They're choosing to tread water.

The Cowboys have just $3.475 million in effective cap space. The $9.5 million in savings from Michael Gallup's release won't arrive until June 1.

Smith's Jets contract makes it seem like he didn't have the robust market that most expected. Per reports, Smith got $6.5 million guaranteed with $13.5 million in playing time and other incentives that allow him to make a maximum of $20 million. It's insulting that Dallas didn't match or exceed the Jets' offer.

Health concerns and age notwithstanding, $6.5 million guaranteed for Smith is an absolute bargain. Among 45 tackles that played at least 800 snaps in 2023, Smith's 88.6 pass-blocking grade ranked first, per Pro Football Focus. His 70.5 run-blocking grade is nothing to sneeze at, either. He also allowed the second-fewest pressures and QB hits, and his 98.1 blocking efficiency was second at the position.

It's easy to interpret Smith's comment as a subtle dig at the Cowboys. How could it not? He understands how the cap works. "Where the chips have fallen" usually implies allowing events to happen without trying to change them, but Dallas made their bed with Smith and now they have to lie in it.

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