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Offseason | 2024

Tyron Smith's sincere goodbye to Cowboys, fans


FRISCO, Texas — It's been an emotional day for the Dallas Cowboys, to say the least. With news of linebacker Leighton Vander Esch medically retiring, the former All-Pro and first-round pick penning a heartfelt letter to the organization and its fans following the decision — also came a formal goodbye from a legendary former offensive lineman, namely Tyron Smith.

Smith, 33, opted to test the open market in free agency and it led to an agreement with the New York Jets to protect Aaron Rodgers, ending an illustrious 13-year career with the Cowboys and, for the first time ever, placing the eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle in another team's uniform.

Once the deal was made official with the Jets, the future Hall of Famer circled back to pay his respects to the organization that gave him a chance as their ninth-overall pick in 2011.

"Cowboy Nation,

"Humbly, I don't even know where to begin...

"Thirteen years sure is a long time to sum up in one short letter to thousands of people who have made my time in Dallas so memorable. It's been a long and wild ride filled with plenty of ups and downs but Cowboy Nation, you all have been there through it all.

"In 2011 as a young kid out of USC, I was blessed to be given the opportunity to play for the Dallas Cowboys. Since the day I was selected, it's been my sole priority to give this organization, my teammates and of course the fans everything I had to give. I loved being a Cowboy and establishing relationships over the years with people that will always be a part of my life.

"The o-line room in Dallas will forever hold a special place in my heart. Inside those four walls, traditions were made, and teammates became brothers. I learned so much from y'all and you have no idea how much I appreciate the many ways you've help me grow not just as a player, but as a 20-year-old boy to the man I am today.

"To the Jones family, thank you for the amazing opportunity to play for the Cowboys and the life changing experience that my family and I will forever be grateful for. I will never forget the feeling of running out of the tunnel at AT&T Stadium or the roar of the crowd after a big play.

*Cowboy Nation - thank you for everything. While I'm excited for this next chapter of my football career, part of my heart will forever be left in Texas. *

"Until we meet again…"

Smith's departure creates a massive void on the blindside of Dak Prescott, one that must be addressed posthaste before the Cowboys can lay claim to being a contender in 2024. For Smith, a six-time All-Pro who had a resurgent year in 2023, the season to come marks a chance at a fresh start for the first time since leaving USC for the NFL draft.

It clearly was not an easy decision for Smith, however, who hints very obviously at a possible reunion at some point in the future — even if it's only of the one-day variety.

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