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Cowboys Rumors: OT Jason Peters Targeted for Contract After Tyron Smith's Injury

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 4, 2022

Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys and veteran offensive tackle Jason Peters reportedly have "mutual interest" in agreeing to a contract.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys and Peters are "working toward a deal," and it could get done by Monday.

Dallas brought Peters in for a visit last week after it was reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter and Todd Archer that starting left tackle Tyron Smith is likely out until at least December because of a torn hamstring that came off the bone and required surgery.

Peters, 40, is a 17-year veteran who is best known for an 11-year stint with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2009 to 2020, although he began his career with the Buffalo Bills and most recently played with the Chicago Bears last season.

The nine-time Pro Bowler, two-time first-team All-Pro, one-time Super Bowl champion and potential future Hall of Famer has waited until late in the offseason to make a decision about his playing future each of the past two years.

Peters re-signed with the Eagles in July 2020 with the intention of moving to guard, but when tackle Andre Dillard was lost for the season before the 2020 regular season began, Peters restructured his contract and moved back to tackle, although a foot injury limited him to eight games.

The Eagles decided to move on from the accomplished veteran last year, and Peters caught on with the Bears in August 2021 and went on to start all 15 games he appeared in last season.

He remains an effective player when healthy, but durability has been a major concern in recent years and for much of his career.

Over the past five seasons, Peters has appeared in every regular-season game in a campaign only once, including missing eight games in 2020 and nine games in 2017. For his career, he has played in every game in a season just six out of 17 times.

Even so, he may be worth the risk for a Cowboys team that is suddenly desperate to find a replacement for a left tackle in Smith, who is an eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro in 11 seasons.

With Smith on the shelf, the Cowboys' top options to replace him currently are 2021 fourth-round draft pick Josh Ball and fifth-round rookie Matt Waletzko, unless they want to move rookie first-round pick Tyler Smith from guard to tackle.

All of them are severely lacking the type of experience head coach Mike McCarthy would like to have in place when it comes to protecting the blindside of franchise quarterback Dak Prescott.

Despite Peters' red flags, he is likely the best option the Cowboys have at this point.

The Cowboys will kick off their 2022 season when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 11, and while Peters may not be ready to play in that game even if he signs by Monday, he is a quick study at this point in his career and it likely wouldn't take him long beyond that to integrate himself into the Dallas offense.

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