NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys have several big-name free agents the franchise will have to make decisions on, but no name is bigger than left tackle Tyron Smith. The 33-year-old would attract interest on the open market, and it does appear he will be playing elsewhere for the first time in his NFL career. According to NFL Media, Smith is unlikely to return to Dallas in 2024.

This is a notable development, as Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones said earlier this week that the franchise wanted to keep Smith, calling him a Hall of Famer. However, Dallas will apparently be reallocating its financial resources elsewhere. The Dallas Morning News reported that it became clear at the NFL Combine that the two sides stand drastically apart in regards to financial framework.

Smith is a five-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowler who was selected by Dallas with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of USC. He has started in all 161 career games played for the Cowboys, but has not played a full season since 2015. Smith was held to four games played in 2022 due to a torn hamstring, and a neck issue in 2020 cost him all but two games. Still, when in the lineup, Smith has been an effective blind-side blocker. In 2023, PFF gave Smith an 88.6 pass-blocking grade, the highest in the entire league among offensive linemen to play 100 or more snaps 

According to Spotrac's market value tool, Smith could fetch a one-year, $7,481,509 deal. That contract would make him the No. 18 highest-paid left tackle in the NFL for 2024. However, Smith's price tag could be higher depending on how many teams are interested in a veteran left tackle. There should be several. 

Who are a couple of teams that could be interested in Smith? Let's take a look. 

1. Kansas City Chiefs

If the Chiefs are serious about the three-peat, Smith would be a good addition. Left tackle Donovan Smith is a free agent, so there's a "help wanted" sign for Patrick Mahomes' blind-side blocker. The Chiefs offensive line play is a reason this squad has become a dynasty, but there's no doubt the tackles can be upgraded. If Smith wants to chase a ring, Kansas City would be the best option. Granted, the Chiefs aren't exactly flush with cash (just $3,462,361), so Smith likely would find more money elsewhere. But, who wouldn't want to block for Mahomes and compete for a Super Bowl?

2. Los Angeles Rams

The Cali boy headed back to Cali. Smith played his high school ball in Moreno Valley and played his college football at Southern Cal. The Rams need a new left tackle, and general manager Les Snead could decide to invest in Smith and use his first-round pick elsewhere. Smith's injury history is a red flag, but what we know about the Rams is that they want to win now. 

3. Washington Commanders

Who says Smith even has to leave the division? He could potentially join forces with Dan Quinn in Washington. The Commanders seem like a logical landing spot for two reasons. One, Washington can afford to pay Smith whatever he wants, as the Commanders have $91,542,471 in cap space, which trails just the New England Patriots. Second, the Commanders now have a need at left tackle after cutting veteran Charles Leno earlier this week. Washington is revamping the offensive line, and that could include adding a veteran left tackle to protect rookie QBs Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels.