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Mailbag: Is it time to move on from Tyron Smith?


Is it time to move on from Tyron Smith? I think he's one of the greatest players in Cowboys history, but there are always questions about his health. Is he worth taking a chance on again? – Henry Miller/Atlanta, GA

Nick Eatman:I would think he's worth re-signing. I don't like using the term "chance" on a future Hall of Fame player who is coming of an All-Pro season. At some point, all teams have to make those tough decisions and this is certainly one of them considering his great play over the years but also his health issues. I thought the Cowboys did a great job with him last year, not only with the way they structured the contract that paid him a weekly bonus if he played, but also how they allowed him to rest during the week. He's that good where he doesn't need to practice all the time and can still be effective. But the Cowboys are in a bad spot with the salary cap. And there are going to be players that are just too expensive and maybe Smith is going to be one of them. It'll be a sad day if he doesn't come back but it's starting to look like that could be a reality. 

Kurt: I'm glad I don't have to make this decision because it's certainly a tough one. There's no denying that Tyron Smith is still one of the best left tackles in the game. He's a force … when healthy. And that's the question that continues to linger over him. His 13 games last season were his most since 2019, but he hasn't played a full schedule since 2015. Still, his availability might not really be the big problem as the team lightened his practice load last season to make sure he was ready for Sunday. The real issue is what it usually is – money. Do the Cowboys want to spend big on a lineman who at 33 years of age is the third-oldest tackle in the game? Can they, given the other contracts and free agent needs they have to address? estimates Smith's market value at $7.4 million. If you could get that for a year, maybe two, then it seems worth it for a team throwing out words like "all-in." But if he is looking for a longer deal for significantly more money, which reports suggest the two sides are far apart in negotiations right now, then maybe it's time to move on. I certainly hope they can figure out a way to bring him back, but the truth is that sooner or later the Cowboys have to get younger at the position. When it comes to the future Hall of Famer, as painful as it may be, the time may have finally arrived to rip that band-aid off.

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