OXNARD, CA – The Dallas Cowboys have signed NFL Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith to the biggest non-quarterback deal in franchise history.
Smith agreed to an eight-year extension worth roughly $97.6 million. Coupled with the two years and $10 million already on his rookie deal, it’s worth a grand total of $109 million.
About $40 million of Smith’s contract is guaranteed, and it comes with a $10 million signing bonus. The contract averages out to roughly $12.2 million per year.
“He’s just been everything we wanted to build this program and this team around,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. “He was a really young player who we put in, really on minute one of day one, and he’s everything that we thought he was going to be.”
Smith is one of the youngest Pro Bowlers in the NFL, as he doesn’t turn 24 until Dec. 12. He will be eligible for free agency in the spring of 2024.
The Cowboys selected Smith No. 9 overall out of Southern California in the 2011 NFL Draft — Garrett’s first draft pick upon being named head coach. He started at right tackle throughout his rookie season before making the switch to the left side in 2012. He earned his first Pro Bowl bid last season on the strength of a fantastic second half that saw him erase several of the game’s top pass rushers.
“He just continues to grow and develop as a player and technically he’s getting better — he’s getting bigger and stronger,” Garrett said. “He’s just tough, competitive. He’s what you want on your football team at a really, really important position.”
There had been speculation all offseason that Smith would be the first of the Dallas Cowboys marquee Pro Bowlers to get a contract extension. The Cowboys picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract in May, securing his services through the 2015 season in the process, but they wanted to lock up a long term deal.
“Those discussions are always ongoing — we feel like we have a lot of young players who represent what we want. We’d like to get these guys locked in for long periods of time,” Garrett said.
This is the second-straight year the Cowboys have secured a long term extension during training camp. The team signed linebacker Sean Lee to a six-year extension prior the start of the 2013 season.
RELATED: Tyron Smith still focused on the task at hand
OXNARD, CA – Tyron Smith has never been one of the more vocal players in the locker room. In fact, he might just be one of the quietest. Media attention isn’t his favorite thing but he knew today wouldn’t be a day he could avoid it.
In fact, Smith had a pair of long interview sessions with the media who wanted to get plenty of clips about the newest highest-paid lineman in the NFL.
“I’m excited that it’s done. I don’t have to deal with that stress anymore,” said Smith, who inked an eight-year extension this morning. “The Jones family showed their faith in me. I’m not going to let them down at all.”
The deal keeps Smith under contract with the Dallas Cowboys through the 2023 season, although he will still be just 32 years of age.
“It’s very important when you think about his age. He’s very likely to be playing after that contract,” Jerry Jones said. “He’s really a profile of the way you’d like for it to be in the NFL if you’re one of the most successful ones, and I would say, at this juncture, he is. He’s arguably, we think, one of the handful of best offensive linemen and arguably one of the top two or three left tackles.”
But for now, Smith is hopeful that this contract will keep wearing the Star on his helmet for his entire career.
“It’s a great organization. This organization is like family. I want to be here for the rest of my career,” Smith said. “For what they put into me, I know I have to perform at even a higher level.”
Smith said some of his teammates joked with him about the deal. Quarterback Tony Romo said he doesn’t think Smith is overpaid at all “because he’s that good.” He did quip that Smith’s payday means “he’ll be taking care of us now.”
But for the most part, they knew not to make a big deal out of … the big deal.
“It’s not the time for that right now,” Smith said. “It’s time to focus. I can’t let this change my approach. I still need to get better and I’m going to make sure I work as hard as I’ve worked.”