Updates from Thursday, July 31
Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News provides a statement from Tyron Smith discussing his new contract with the Cowboys:
Tyron Smith asked about being the cornerstone of the franchise: "I don't know about that. I'm trying to play a role."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) July 31, 2014
ESPN's Ed Werder and Machota continued with a statement from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones:
Jerry Jones on Tyron Smith deal: "He wants to be one of best ever and wants to win rings. That's more important to him than money."— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) July 31, 2014
Jerry Jones: Tyron Smith is "more than we could have expected, and we expected a lot. He's been outstanding, an example of how to do it."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) July 31, 2014
After three consistent years with the Dallas Cowboys, Pro Bowl offensive lineman Tyron Smith has reportedly agreed to terms on a huge deal with the team. The left tackle's extension is allegedly for eight years and $98 million, locking him up for the foreseeable future.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com was the first to report the deal and numbers:
The #Cowboys and star LT Tyron Smith are finalizing an 8-year mega-extension, source says. This was a priority.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 30, 2014
The #Cowboys and LT Tyron Smith have reached an agreement in principle on an 8-year, $98M deal, source says. Wow.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 30, 2014
David Helman of DallasCowboys.com provides contract details:
Terms of the Smith deal: 8 years, $97.6 mill. $40M guaranteed. $10M signing bonus. $109M overall when combined w/ his remaining two years.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) July 30, 2014
Costa Sports Marketing passes along a statement from Smith:
Late last week, the Cowboys approached me with a deal I told my agents I wanted to sign. My agents explained the pros and cons of this deal versus one that may be shorter term and/or higher guarantee. After careful consideration, I decided this long term deal was exactly what I wanted. Over the past three years, the Cowboys organization and Jones Family have helped me through trying times and I felt this was my opportunity to return the gratitude. I am beyond grateful for the Cowboys staff, my teammates, and the fans, and wanted to ensure I was locked in as a "Cowboy for Life". I want to thank everyone for their support and look forward to having a star on my helmet for the remainder of my career.
Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News has more contract info:
Source: Tyron Smith's new 10-year, $109 million contract (8-year extension) includes $40 million guaranteed and $32 million over first 3 yrs— Brandon George (@DMN_George) July 30, 2014
ESPN.com's Todd Archer explains the discrepancy in the reported contract terms from Rapoport and George:
In new money Tyron Smith deal is 8 years $97.6m. Was already under contract through 2015. Now signed through 2023— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) July 30, 2014
While offensive linemen are often overlooked, Smith has been sensational throughout his young career. The 2011 first-round pick has blocked Tony Romo's blind side at left tackle for the last two seasons and was the NFL's seventh-best offensive tackle in 2013, according to ProFootballFocus (subscription required).
Smith graded out particularly high in pass blocking, trailing just Cleveland's Joe Thomas, Washington's Trent Williams, New Orleans' Zach Strief and the since-retired Jordan Gross of Carolina. Smith has also been a workhorse throughout his career, starting in all but one game over the course of his three years with Dallas.
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report provides his thoughts on the deal for Smith:
8 years, $98m for Tyron Smith. Anxious to see how the money breaks down. Either way, he's worth it.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) July 30, 2014
Tyron Smith is only 23, so 8 year deal not that extreme.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) July 30, 2014
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports also passes along his musings:
Tyron Smith signing is smart move by the Cowboys. Young and damn good— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) July 30, 2014
At just 23 years old, it appears the Cowboys now have their left tackle for the future. With Romo now 34 years old and coming off a back injury, the importance of Smith's position is at an all-time high.
What Smith also provides is a reliable player that will constantly line up against the best defensive linemen. With myriad issues for the Cowboys on the opposite side of the line, this shores up a spot Dallas desperately needs to remain consistent.
On the heels of yet another 8-8 season, the Cowboys will need Romo and the offense to carry the team. Having Smith back in the fold for the next decade means Romo and Co. should certainly have ample opportunity to do so.
Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.