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Cowboys sign left tackle Tyron Smith to jaw-dropping contract extension

No matter how much salary-cap hell the Dallas Cowboys find themselves in year after year, they'll always find a way to sign a contract extension that makes you do a double take.

This time around, offensive tackle Tyron Smith backed up the armored truck to owner Jerry Jones' office. Smith signed an eight-year contract extension that will take him through the 2023 season and will be worth (deep breath) $97.6 million, bringing the total value of the next 10 years (including the two remaining on his rookie deal) to almost $110 million according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Charean Williams.

Yowsa. Only the Cowboys.

Smith, the ninth pick of the 2011 draft out of USC, is a heck of a player. He has already made a Pro Bowl and won't turn 24 until late this season. It's hard to argue with the Cowboys paying him. But through 2023? How are the Cowboys supposed to accurately evaluate what type of player Smith will be when he's 33?

[Photos: NFL players share tender moments with their kids at training camp]

Like all NFL contracts, the last few years probably include a lot of unrealistic and obviously non-guaranteed salaries that will never be paid out. So it likely doesn't really matter that the deal is through 2023 or that it could be $97.6 million because it'll fall way short of that. ESPNDallas.com reported it includes $40 million guaranteed with a $10 million signing bonus, so we'll see how much cash Smith actually sees.

[Photos: NFL training camps - Behind-the-scenes access]

But it just is another way for Jones and the Cowboys to make a big headline. They've handed out mega-deals like this before, only to see them not pan out (Miles Austin anyone?). One wonders what receiver Dez Bryant, who is on the last year of his rookie deal, is thinking after seeing this news.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

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