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Dallas Cowboys Player Profile: T #77 Tyron Smith 1
Tyron Smith, #77

#77 Tyron Smith

Height: 6-5 Weight: 320 Age: 25
Position: Left Tackle College: USC
Exp: 6 Years

Tyron Smith was born in Los Angeles, California on December 12, 1990. He played his collegiate football at the University of Southern California and is an offensive tackle in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted him ninth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Dallas Cowboys Player Profile: T #77 Tyron Smith 1

High School

Dallas Cowboys Player Profile: T #77 Tyron Smith 3Tyron Smith attended Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley, California. He was a standout athlete on both the football field and in track and field in his high school career.

In track and field, Smith competed in both shot put and discus. His top throws in his high school career were 14.23 m (46’7”) in the shot put and 46.62 m (152’10”) in discus. I guess that solves why he’s so capable of throwing around defensive lineman at the NFL level.

On the football field, Tyron Smith was a dominant player on both the offensive and defensive line.
In his sophomore season in 2005, Smith was an All-Southwestern League second team pick.

In 2006 as a junior, he made the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass second team, All-CIF Central Division first team, and Riverside Press-Enterprise All-Riverside County second team.

Tyron Smith’s senior season in 2007 was full of accomplishments:

  • Parade All-American
  • Super Prep All-American
  • Scout.com All-American first team
  • EA Sports All-American second team
  • ESPN 150
  • Super Prep elite 50
  • Prep Star Dream Team
  • Super Prep All-Farwest
  • Prep Star All-West
  • Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team
  • Orange County Register Fab 15
  • Tacoma News Tribune Western 100
  • Cal-Hi All-State first team
  • All-CIF Central Division first team
  • Los Angeles Times All-Star
  • Riverside Press-Enterprise All-Riverside County first team
  • All-Inland Valley League first team

Tyron Smith was rated as a five-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com. Rivals had Smith ranked as the No. 6 offensive tackle prospect, while Scout had him as the No. 1 offensive tackle prospect.

He committed to play collegiately at USC, despite numerous scholarship offers from other programs around the nation.

College/NCAA

Dallas Cowboys Player Profile: T #77 Tyron SmithAs a freshman in 2008, Tyron Smith appeared in 10 games and served as the backup left tackle, while also playing on special teams.

In 2009 as a sophomore, Tyron Smith started the first 12 games at right tackle for the Trojans, but had to miss the Boston College game because he was academically ineligible. In his second year of college, Smith made the 2009 All-Pac-10 honorable mention and CollegeFootballNews.com Sophomore All-American honorable mention.

Tyron Smith had surgery on his right thumb prior to the 2010 spring practices. He competed with Matt Kalil for the starting left tackle spot, but eventually lost out and went back to the right side. Smith won the Morris Trophy, awarded to the conference’s top offensive lineman, and he was also first team All-Pac-10.

Tyron Smith decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2011 NFL Draft.

2011 NFL Draft

Dallas Cowboys Player Profile: T #77 Tyron Smith 2Tyron Smith was the first offensive lineman to be selected in the 2011 NFL Draft, going 9th overall to the Dallas Cowboys. He was the highest drafted OL since Jamaal Brown in 2005.

Smith was considered one of the top offensive lineman prospects in the entire 2011 draft class, along with Gabe Carimi, Nate Solder, and Anthony Castonzo.

Tyron Smith’s selection was a big deal for the Dallas Cowboys, who hadn’t drafted an offensive lineman in the first round since John Niland in 1966. In fact, he was the first offensive lineman drafted since Jerry Jones took over the Cowboys organization in 1989.

NFL Career

Dallas Cowboys Player Profile: T #77 Tyron Smith 4

Tyron Smith was just a 20-year-old rookie entering the 2011 season. From day one of organized team activities (OTAs) he was named the starter at right tackle, which meant Doug Free would play the left side. His role with the team became even more important when the Cowboys decided to release veteran offensive linemen Marc Colombo, Leonard Davis, Andre Gurode, and Montrae Holland during the preseason.

In 2012, Smith moved from right to left tackle to protect quarterback Tony Romo’s blindside, meaning that Doug Free would move to the right side. He had his struggles, but ended up having a really solid 2012 season.

In his third year with the Dallas Cowboys in 2013, he committed just one holding penalty and allowed only one quarterback sack in 16 starts. He ended up being named to the 2013 Pro Bowl team coached by Jerry Rice.

In July of 2014, the Dallas Cowboys extended Tyron Smith and signed him to a new 8-year, $97.6 million dollar deal, making him the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL at the time.

He was the first offensive lineman in 10 years to be named the offensive player of the week for his play against the Seattle Seahawks, and was voted into his second Pro Bowl. Tyron Smith started all 16 games and helped running back DeMarco Murray lead the NFL in individual rushing yards, while also helping the Cowboys finish second in the NFL in rushing.

In 2015, Tyron Smith again started all 16 games and led the way for running back Darren McFadden, who finished fourth in the NFL in rushing yards. He was also voted to his third consecutive Pro Bowl.

Contract Status

Despite having two years remaining on his rookie contract, the Dallas Cowboys decided to sign Tyron Smith to an 8-year, $97.6 million contract extension. He received a $10 million signing bonus and his 2014 and 2015 salaries were fully guaranteed.

The Cowboys restructured Smith’s contract in 2016 and converted $9 million of his $10 million base salary into a signing bonus. This created $7.2 million cap space in 2016 and $1.8 million to the next four year’s cap charges.

Tyron Smith will make an average of $12,200,000 per year and $22,118,013 million of his contract was fully guaranteed. His contract makes him the third-highest out of 74 left tackles in the NFL.

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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Dallas Cowboys

DeMarcus Lawrence, Franchise Tags and Realities for Dallas Cowboys

Mauricio Rodriguez

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DeMarcus Lawrence, Franchise Tags and Realities for Dallas Cowboys
Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports

For Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence, it was now or never. With an expiring rookie contract, it was time for him to make a name for himself. Between injuries and a suspension, Lawrence wasn’t close to being a great player before 2017. He accounted for eight sacks in 2015 and only one in 2016.

However, last season he was finally able to get double-digit numbers by sacking opposing quarterbacks 14.5 times. Lawrence also had 36 tackles and four forced fumbles. Not only was he a very good pass rusher, but he also became a great run defender.

Simply put, DeMarcus “Tank” Lawrence went from an average player to one of the NFL’s best defensive ends in 2017.

It seems like finally, after years of waiting, the Dallas Cowboys have found their “War Daddy.” But, as is always the case for the Cowboys, there’s a problem. DeMarcus Lawrence needs to be paid in order for him to stay. With number 90 ready to hit free agency, the Cowboys’ front office has a choice to make.

They can give him the big multi-year contract he wants, they can tag him, or the Cowboys can watch him walk out the front door and thrive somewhere else in the league.

DeMarcus Lawrence

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence (Scott Cunningham / Getty Images)

There’s a problem with giving him a big-time contract though. Lawrence had a great 2017 season, but before that, he hadn’t proved anything. Tank has provided one quality season for the Dallas Cowboys. Are they willing to pay him a lot of money and take the risk of seeing him play like in 2015 or 2016?

It wouldn’t be the first time that an NFL player has had a great “contract year” season just to become an average football player. The Cowboys should look at the possibility of keeping Lawrence for at least one more year by giving him a franchise tag.

But First of All, What is a Franchise Tag?

The offseason is a time in which we sort of understand certain concepts but don’t truly understand them completely. Simply put, every year each NFL team has the right to hand out a franchise tag to one of its players. Tagging a player means giving him a one-year deal with a high payment, basically forcing the player to stay with the team for one more season.

In some cases, the player might even end up on another team, despite being tagged, but that would depend on the type of franchise tag he receives.

There are three types of franchise tags:

  • Exclusive Franchise Tag: With this tag, the player gets paid the average of the top five salaries for the player’s position (in this case, defensive end) for the current year. With this tag, no other team can negotiate with the player (hence the term exclusive). However, only guys like Kirk Cousins or Von Miller get exclusive tags, so it probably won’t be the case for Lawrence.
  • Non-exclusive Franchise Tag: Out of every tag, this is the most used. With this tag, the player receives the average of the top five salaries at his position over the last five years. Other teams can actually negotiate with the player though. If offered a deal by another team, the current team has the right to match the offer. If they decline to do so, they get two first-round picks in compensation.
  • Transition Franchise Tag: This isn’t as compromising as the other tags are, since the team doesn’t even receive compensation if the player takes a deal with another team. The player is paid the average of the ten best salaries at his position. The current team has the opportunity to match any offers made to the player.

In DeMarcus Lawrence’s case, the “non-exclusive” tag would make the most sense, but even if the Cowboys decide to tag Lawrence, there’s still a big problem… cap space.

Per Over The Cap, Dallas is expected to have a cap number of around $18M. The projected tag for a DE in 2018 is over $17M. The Cowboys have to make some moves if they want to keep Tank on the roster.

Whether it’s releasing some players or restructuring a ton of contracts, something will need to get done in Dallas. Lawrence is not the only player the Cowboys should be concerned about re-signing, so they’ll definitely need the cap space.

We may see some surprising cap casualties if the Cowboys really want Lawrence. I wouldn’t even be surprised if this team says goodbye to Dez Bryant, for example.

I don’t see how this team could let DeMarcus Lawrence walk in free agency. I don’t think they should. Let’s hope Tank is wearing a star in 2018.

Tell me what you think about “DeMarcus Lawrence, Franchise Tags and Realities for Dallas Cowboys” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Have Need for Speed at Running Back

Jess Haynie

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Has RB Rod Smith Emerged As Ezekiel Elliott's Primary Backup? 2
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have a lot needs in the 2018 offseason. Running back may seem low on the list, but Dallas should not take it for granted. They have an opportunity to add some needed speed and explosion to their offense.

Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith will form an exciting one-two punch at the top of the RB depth chart. Alfred Morris‘ contract has expired and it’s unlikely he’ll return with Smith’s late-season push for a larger role.

Rod Smith is an ideal backup for Elliott. He has the right mix of power and athleticism to run some of the same plays, plus he’s not a bad receiver. He could even work as the third-down back when Zeke needs a breather.

Ezekiel Elliott, Broncos

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Between those two, Dallas has all the power and standard running they need. That’s why I believe they should use the number-three spot this year on a true speedster.

I’m sure the first name that pops in mind is Lance Dunbar, who held that role to varying degrees from 2012-2016. Dunbar could be used in a variety of speed-based plays, go out as a receiver, and even return kicks at times.

The Cowboys have a candidate for this role already in Trey Williams, who was on the practice squad and will be with the team at least to start the offseason.

Small and versatile, Williams looks like he fits that Dunbar mold. However, Williams isn’t a true burner. He clocked just 4.49 at the NFL Scouting Combine. He’s quick and agile, but isn’t necessarily going to beat guys to the edge.

With the way Dallas’ offensive linemen can move and work out in space, a back with blazing speed could do some real damage. All he needs is a lane and he could make house calls.

Right now, wide receiver Ryan Switzer is the only player Dallas has who can assume some of those Dunbar-like roles. He could be effective on screens and reverses. But a guy with those same skills at RB can be even more dangerous. He can leave defenses guessing even more because they’re not sure which position he’s playing until after the huddle breaks.

That third roster spot is wide open, so the Cowboys should spend the offseason looking for a weapon that provides a different skill set and more for opponents to worry about.

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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Face Tough Decision with DL Tyrone Crawford

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Sign Tyrone Crawford To Long-Term Contract 1
AP Photo/Brandon Wade

As the Dallas Cowboys look to get back into the playoffs next season, they have some work to do on their current roster. Talent needs to be added and retained, and that takes money. Veteran Tyrone Crawford’s contract puts the Cowboys in a tough spot.

Crawford isn’t the Cowboys’ best defender, but he did have the highest cap hit in 2017, even more than linebacker Sean Lee. Crawford will count $9.1 million against Dallas’ salary cap next season, which is currently second behind Lee’s projected $11-million hit. That fact alone would make you think Tyrone Crawford is likely to be released this offseason.

It would seem even more likely when you consider how guys like DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving have eclipsed him as impact players on the defensive line.

However, Crawford’s contract isn’t so easily discarded.

Tyrone Crawford

Dallas Cowboys DL Tyrone Crawford

Because of past restructuring, Dallas won’t get much cap relief by cutting Tyrone outright. He still has $7.3 million in dead money on the deal, which means cap savings of only $1.8 million.

That’s a small return for losing a solid, dependable player and great locker room guy.

Crawford can play inside or outside in the 4-3, and he’s been a veteran leader on an otherwise young roster.

If Dallas were to make Tyrone Crawford a June-1st release, they would get $6 million in cap space for 2018 and push another $4.2-million in dead money to 2019. That sounds nice on the surface, but keep in mind Dallas can’t use that $6 million during free agency in March. It only becomes available after June 1st. Still, the Cowboys could find ways to use that money.

It could fund their rookie pool, or go toward a new contract for Lawrence or Irving. It could also be used to sign other June-1st cap casualties. If nothing else, it could be rolled over to next season. But again, you lose a solid player in the exchange.

Tyrone Crawford may not be worth a $9.1-million cap hit, but you have to factor in replacement cost.

Dallas could certainly get by. Assuming Lawrence and Irving return, they also have Maliek Collins, Taco Charlton, and Charles Tapper under contract. Benson Mayowa has one year left on his deal, but is likely to be a cap casualty himself. The Cowboys also have several young prospects in Richard Ash, Lewis Neal, and anyone they might add in this year’s draft.

This would be a no-brainer if Crawford’s contract hadn’t been reworked in the past. Dallas would likely get a nice chunk of immediate change if they cut him, but they created their own problem here with the restructuring. Now they have an asset who isn’t worth his price, but doesn’t offer enough relief to be worth cutting.

It’s a tough call; one of many the Cowboys will face in the 2018 offseason.

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