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Cowboys, OT Jason Peters Agree to Contract After Tyron Smith's Injury

Adam WellsSeptember 5, 2022

Chris Unger/Getty Images

Jason Peters' NFL career will continue after he agreed to a practice-squad deal with the Dallas Cowboys, per Rob Phillips of DallasCowboys.com.

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NFL Network's Ian Rapoport was first to report the agreement. Defensive end Mika Tafua was released to make room for Peters.

"This is about adding depth and bringing another excellent player into your program," head coach Mike McCarthy said, per Phillips.

"Obviously you have a tremendous amount of respect for what Jason has accomplished throughout his career," McCarthy added. "Going back, watching the video of his time with Chicago, it's definitely an opportunity of mutual interest. He'd love to finish his career here in Texas. We had a chance to visit late last week and through the weekend.

"He'll line up (in practice Monday) and we'll bring him along a little more slowly. Just do the individual (drills)."

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

Jason Peters starting on the practice squad helps the Cowboys, because they hadn’t planned to add a key OT before Week 2. Vested veterans get their salaries guaranteed (via termination pay option) if on the roster for the Week 1 game, but not after that.

The Cowboys found themselves in a desperate state when Tyron Smith went down with an avulsion fracture in his left knee during practice Aug. 24.

Per Rapoport, Smith will return no sooner than December, and he could miss the entire season.

There has been a lot of shuffling along Dallas' offensive line since the end of last season. Left guard Connor Williams and right tackle La'El Collins left via free agency.

Dallas drafted Tyler Smith in the first round (No. 24 overall) to help soften the blow of those two losses. He has received a vote of confidence from Jerry Jones as the starting left tackle going into this season.

Adding Peters gives head coach Mike McCarthy a safety net at left tackle in the event Smith struggles in his first exposure to the NFL.

The Cowboys hope to make a deep playoff run. Peters may not be the All-Pro player he was in his prime, but he's still an effective starter at the most important position on the offensive line.

After a long offseason wait last year, Peters found a home with the Bears following injuries along their offensive line. He started 15 games for Chicago in 2021 and was the team's best offensive lineman, per Pro Football Focus.

The University of Arkansas product has had a strong career rebound after suffering a torn ACL and MCL in Week 7 during the 2017 campaign. He started all 16 games in 2018 and made 13 more starts in 2019.

The Philadelphia Eagles brought Peters back by signing him to a one-year deal in 2020. He was expected to play right guard, but Andre Dillard's season-ending biceps injury moved him back to left tackle.

Upon receiving a one-year contract extension from the Eagles in 2017, Peters said his goal was to play for three more seasons through 2019 before walking away.

"I don't think I'm going to go that much longer," he told reporters. "Three-year extension. I'm going to give them everything I've got."

Peters spent the first five years of his career with the Bills after signing as an undrafted free agent. He played tight end at the University of Arkansas and during his rookie season in Buffalo.

After learning to play offensive tackle during his second season, he became one of the best players at the position during his prime. The Eagles acquired him prior to the 2009 season, and he started 148 games in 12 seasons with the franchise.

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