Cowboys OT Tyron Smith reportedly unlikely to return in free agency

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 10: Tyron Smith #77 of the Dallas Cowboys walks off of the field after an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium on December 10, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys appear to be moving on from Tyron Smith after 13 seasons.

The 33-year-old is "unlikely" to return to his longtime team once he becomes a free agent on March 13, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Smith will reportedly be "highly coveted" by teams in the market for an offensive tackle.

Smith is the Cowboys' longest tenured player. The news of his likely split from the team comes after the lineman reportedly wasn't considering retirement in February. He was instead looking for a deal to remain in Dallas, per the Dallas Morning News.

Dallas has interest in retaining Smith, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning news reported Saturday. Both parties reportedly reached a turning point during the ongoing NFL scouting combine, as they failed to reach an understanding regarding the "financial framework" for a deal. The team is not ruling out a reunion, but negotiations would need a large positive shift, Gehlken added.

He arrived to Dallas in 2011, when he was selected with the No. 9 overall pick out of USC. He gathered a host of accolades, including two first-team All-Pro selections and eight Pro Bowl nods. Smith was also named to the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade team, which was headlined by Tom Brady and Aaron Donald.

Smith and the Cowboys inked an eight-year extension worth nearly $100 million in 2016, and he hasn't played a full campaign since 2015. He tore his hamstring ahead of the 2022 season, causing him to miss all but four games. He was hampered by various knee, back and neck issues last season.

The end of the Tyron Smith era could potentially signify the rise of Tyler Smith, who the team selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Across the past two seasons, the 22-year-old started at offensive guard in all but three games. With Tyron Smith's contract ending, Tyler Smith could shift to left tackle.