The Cowboys have become the latest team to exercise the fifth-year option on a 2011 first-round pick, according to Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas, who reports that the club has picked up its 2015 option on offensive tackle Tyron Smith. The move ensures that, even without a long-term extension, Smith will be under team control for two more seasons.
Because he was selected within the top 10 in the 2011 draft, Smith’s option-year salary will be equal to the 2014 transition tag for an offensive lineman. That means the 23-year-old will be in line for a 2015 salary of $10.039MM, which will be guaranteed for injury only until the first day of the ’15 league year. The Cowboys could also try to lock up Smith to a long-term contract extension in the meantime.
Along with Dez Bryant, Smith represents one of the two Cowboys that the team will be most intent on extending in the near future. Smith ranked as the fifth-best tackle in the league last season among 76 qualified players, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), which graded the former USC Trojan as an above-average run blocker and an elite pass blocker. It was the second time in his three NFL seasons that Smith ranked among the league’s top five tackles, per PFF’s data.