Terence Steele

Cowboys, Terence Steele Agree To Extension

SEPTEMBER 4: Steele will collect a signing bonus of $15MM, per Schefter’s colleague Todd Archer. The new pact is guaranteed in full for the first two years, and his 2025 base salary ($13.25MM) will become guaranteed on the fifth day of that league year. The deal will not alter Steele’s cap hit for this season, so that figure will remain at $4.3MM before jumping in later years given the sizable raise from his previous earnings. $1.25MM in escalators are included for the years 2025-28, and he can earn roster bonuses of $750K annually beginning in 2024.

SEPTEMBER 3: The Cowboys and right tackle Terence Steele have agreed to a five-year, $86.8MM extension, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. The deal includes $50MM in guarantees and can max out at $91.8MM.

This represents a major vote of confidence in a player whose 2022 season was cut short by ACL and MCL tears. But as head coach Mike McCarthy recently told reporters, including Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, he has never seen a player recover quite like Steele.

“He hasn’t missed a day, and it’s just Terence,” McCarthy said. “He’s in there the same time every day, doing the rehab. It feels like he never left. Terence is a stud.”

Steele, 26, signed with Dallas as an undrafted free agent in 2020. Over his three seasons with the club, he has appeared in 45 games (40 starts), with most of his work coming at right tackle. His level of play at that spot allowed Dallas to move on from La’el Collins and commit to Steele on a full-time basis in 2022. Steele took a step forward in Pro Football Focus rating for the third straight year, generating an overall grade of 73.9.

Despite the ACL and MCL injuries, the Cowboys placed the second-round RFA tender, worth $4.3MM, on Steele this offseason. Reports on Dallas’ O-line plans in the spring suggested that the Texas Tech alum could operate as the swing tackle behind Tyron Smith and Tyler Smith, with Tyron Smith lining up at RT and Tyler Smith on the blindside. However, the club has consistently maintained that it wants to field its best five offensive lineman, and that group includes Steele. As such, Tyler Smith eventually kicked inside to left guard, Tyron Smith has assumed his familiar LT post, and Steele has been reinserted at right tackle.

Along with Tyler Biadasz at center and Zack Martin at right guard, the Cowboys boast a strong contingent of blockers in front of quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Tony Pollard. With Tyron Smith set to become a free agent at season’s end, it is certainly possible that Tyler Smith could move back to left tackle in 2024, but the team has the RT position set for the foreseeable future.

Steele’s new money AAV of $17.36MM ranks as the eighth-highest figure among the league’s right tackles. His $50MM in guaranteed money, however, ranks as the fourth-highest number, so he did quite well for a former UDFA who has yet to make a Pro Bowl and who is coming off a major knee injury.

The Cowboys were eyeing extensions for players like CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs, and Steele this year, and they have now struck accords with Diggs and Steele. They also gave Martin a raise that ended his holdout and will now presumably turn their attention to Lamb and Prescott, whose cap number balloons to over $59MM next year.

Cowboys Eyeing CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs, Terence Steele Extensions In 2023

The Cowboys’ top extension candidates have come up on multiple occasions this year. While the team has options with each beyond this year, the goal looks to be new deals before heading into the 2024 offseason.

CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs and Terence Steele remain on Dallas’ extension radar, and ESPN.com’s Todd Archer notes the team will look to use training camp to hammer out deals with each. Lamb’s contract runs through 2024, via the recently exercised fifth-year option, while Diggs is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Steele is tied to a second-round RFA tender.

This will not be an easy mission. Diggs’ reputation as a boom-or-bust gambler in coverage notwithstanding, the former second-round pick has a first-team All-Pro nod on his resume — for an 11-interception season — and does not have an extensive injury history. Diggs has missed one game over the past two years. Going into his age-25 season, Diggs will certainly want his second contract to land in the top cornerback tax bracket.

With three corners earning at least $20MM per year and five attached to contracts worth at least $19MM on average, the Cowboys have a high bar to clear. Dallas passed on going into the $16MM-AAV range for Byron Jones three years ago, drafting Diggs shortly after letting its previous top corner walk (for a record-setting Dolphins deal) in free agency. If Diggs is unsigned going into the ’24 offseason, he will likely be positioned as the Cowboys’ top franchise tag candidate.

The Cowboys have a history of extending core performers despite two years remaining on their rookie deals. They did this with Tyron Smith in 2014, with Travis Frederick in 2016 and Ezekiel Elliott in 2019. That said, no team — in the fifth-year option era, that is — has extended a wide receiver with two years left on his rookie contract. Justin Jefferson is also a candidate to become the first wideout since the 2011 CBA to be extended with two years remaining on his rookie deal, though the Vikings are not certain to proceed down this path. That could force Jefferson to contemplate a hold-in effort, and Lamb might be fine waiting until Jefferson raises the booming receiver market further before committing to a second contract. Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones mentioned players’ willingness to wait earlier this offseason.

Lamb, 24, may not be a threat to eclipse Tyreek Hill‘s $30MM-per-year pact now, but if Jefferson raises the positional ceiling and the top Cowboys wideout builds on his 1,359-yard season, the price in 2024 stands to come in higher than it likely does now. Ely Allen assessed Lamb’s extension value last month. The Cowboys cut bait on Amari Cooper‘s five-year, $100MM extension after two seasons; as the salary cap keeps rising, Lamb’s value will be much higher.

Steele is still rehabbing the ACL tear that ended his season early, and his being an extension candidate would point to the Cowboys planning an O-line configuration that keeps him as the starting right tackle. Jerry Jones mentioned the prospect of Steele being a swingman behind Tyron Smith and Tyler Smith, but the notion of the younger Smith sliding to left guard — which he did late in the season — and having the All-Decade blocker back at left tackle (and Steele at right tackle) has also surfaced. How the Cowboys proceed would have a big impact on Steele’s value.

A former UDFA, Steele, 26, can certainly enhance his market by putting together a strong contract year post-injury. Nine years after signing what has become the NFL’s longest-running active contract, Tyron Smith is due for free agency in 2024 as well. Steele’s status would seemingly factor into the Hall of Fame candidate’s Dallas future. Center Tyler Biadasz also could land on the Cowboys’ extension radar, Archer adds, though the fourth-year blocker is likely behind the above-referenced players in the queue.

The Cowboys’ ability to extend Diggs and Steele this year could affect Tony Pollard‘s future with the team. The Cowboys not entering into serious negotiations with the Pro Bowl back led to him joining Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs in being tied to the $10.1MM franchise tag this season. Because of this, Archer adds it is “highly likely” this season will be it for Pollard in Dallas. The Cowboys can tag Pollard again in 2024 — at 120% of his current tag number — but higher-end tag options could be in place by then.

That raises the stakes for prospective Diggs negotiations this summer, though the increasingly grim running back market may also allow the Cowboys to re-sign Pollard if no extension is reached before the 2024 legal tampering period.

Cowboys Rumors: LG, Elliott, Turpin

The Cowboys fielded a revolving door at left guard last year and, for now, it looks like it may continue revolving through the summer. According to Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News, Dallas is looking into multiple possibilities to replace Connor McGovern, who departed for Buffalo in free agency back in March.

The favorite to man the newly open starting spot is Tyler Smith, who manned the position at times last season when he wasn’t at left tackle. With Tyron Smith back to healthy, Tyler can shift inside for good this season. The younger Smith embraced the opportunity to work at guard recently, asserting that being elite at both positions will ultimately help the team the most.

The Cowboys haven’t limited the versatility training to Smith. Gehlken reports that multiple other linemen have received time at both guard and tackle this offseason. Matt Farniok, who has worked mostly at interior line positions so far in Dallas, has been working outside. Chuma Edoga has worked at right tackle and left guard, as well. Even second-year lineman Matt Waletzko was approached by offensive line coach Mike Solari to work at guard for the first time in his life.

As of right now, it looks to be a starting lineup of Tyron Smith at left tackle, Tyler Smith at left guard, Tyler Biadasz at center, Zack Martin at right guard, and Terence Steele at right tackle. With Steele still coming back from a late season-ending ACL and MCL tear, many in the building would like to see Tyler Smith continue to develop at tackle. In the meantime, it seems that Dallas is keeping its options open for both positions.

Here are a few other rumors coming out of Arlington:

  • Rookie second-round tight end out of Michigan Luke Schoonmaker has been dealing with a plantar fascia issue, reportedly wearing a walking boot on his right foot last week. According to Jon Machota of The Athletic, Schoonmaker was out of the boot this week but was still limited to just sideline work. The injury isn’t considered serious, as he’s expected to be ready for the start of training camp, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.
  • Owner, president, and general manager Jerry Jones continues to leave the door open for a reunion with veteran running back Ezekiel Elliott, according to Machota. His son, and team CEO, Stephen Jones says that the team is looking into adding a bigger back. They signed fullback Hunter Luepke undrafted out of North Dakota State and signed the stout Ronald Jones in free agency, but Elliott could always find his way back to Dallas despite both parties continuing to explore their options.
  • Lastly, another report from Machota claims confidence that wide receiver and return specialist KaVontae Turpin should find a spot on the Cowboys’ eventual 53-man roster. While rookie running back Deuce Vaughn and Malik Davis got some opportunities to handle return duties in recent weeks, Turpin is a much more explosive and proven option. It also doesn’t hurt that Turpin has been getting some serious run with the second-team wide receiver group.

Cowboys Eyeing Multiple Extensions

The Cowboys have made a few notable outside additions this offseason, including the trade acquisitions of wideout Brandin Cooks and cornerback Stephon Gilmore. A number of internal extension candidates are in place, though, and getting deals done with several of them remains a priority.

EVP Stephen Jones indicated on Monday that the Cowboys have “in general touched base” with players in line for new contracts, such as quarterback Dak Prescott, receiver CeeDee Lamb, cornerback Trevon Diggs and offensive lineman Terence Steele (Twitter link via Jon Machota of The Athletic). Each of those names have been linked to potential extensions during this offseason, with Prescott representing an obvious priority given his current financial situation.

The 29-year-old restructured his contract in March, a move which freed up considerable cap space for what has been an eventful offseason in Dallas. As a result, however, Prescott’s 2024 cap hit is scheduled to be $59.4MM, a figure which will need to be lowered significantly via a new contract. Team owner Jerry Jones made it clear (via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, on Twitter), however, that a new Prescott accord doesn’t necessarily need to be worked out before extensions for other key players.

Both Lamb and Diggs have been in Dallas for the past three years; while the former is under contract for 2024 via the fifth-year option, the latter is entering a contract year. The pair have each earned two Pro Bowl nods and are foundational pieces of the team’s long-term core. In came as no surprise, then, when it was learned in March that extensions for both were among the Cowboys’ priorities. Given the value of the WR and CB markets, second contracts for Lamb and Diggs will require a sizeable multi-year commitment.

In Steele’s case, a smaller deal may suffice to have him on the books beyond 2023. The former UDFA has emerged as a valued member of their offensive front, and will play on a $4.3MM RFA tender this season. Steele’s likeliest position this year appears to be at left guard, with both Tyler Smith and Tyron Smith in place to occupy the tackle spots. A strong season on the interior would add further to his value, and thus his asking price on the open market. Avoiding that situation with any or all of the aforementioned players over the coming months is front of mind for the Cowboys.

“The timing has got to be right for those guys and it’s gotta be right for us,” Stephen Jones said, via Machota. “Our goal would be to hopefully start to chip away at this… No specific order. It’s just kind of when opportunity arises. They gotta be motivated to want to do it. It seems like more and more guys want to wait… because usually the price goes up from one year to the next. People don’t seem to be as in that type of hurry, but if the opportunity is there we sure would like to get 1-2-3 of these guys signed. We’d love to do more than one.”

Tyron Smith Expected To Play Right Tackle

The Cowboys current first-team offensive line may look a whole lot different come Week 1, but we’re starting to get clarity on some of the team’s plans. As Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets, “it would be a surprise” if Tyron Smith isn’t starting at right tackle. Meanwhile, Clarence Hill of the Dallas Star-Telegram writes that the Cowboys are “focused” on keeping Tyler Smith at left tackle.

The Cowboys have stated all offseason that they intend to start their best five offensive lineman, regardless of position. That five-man grouping should eventually include Terence Steele, who is still working his way back from a torn ACL. He could get a look at right tackle and left guard, potentially pushing one of Matt Farniok or Tyron Smith out of the lineup.

However, it sounds like the team intends to stick with the veteran Smith at RT, assuming the lineman is healthy enough to play. The 32-year-old has been limited to only 17 regular season games over the past three years, including a 2022 campaign where he appeared in only four games thanks to a torn hamstring. That injury kept Smith off the field until December, and by the time he returned, he had been pushed out of his normal LT role by Tyler Smith.

The younger Smith was thrust into the LT role after being selected in the first round of last year’s draft. He more than held his own during his rookie campaign, earning PFWA All-Rookie Team honors after starting all 17 games (plus two playoff contests). He ended up finishing the season as Pro Football Focus’ 25th offensive tackle (among 81 qualifying players), with the site preferring his run blocking over his pass blocking.

Elsewhere on the line, Chuma Edoga is expected to get a look at left guard, per Hill. Zack Martin has his position secure at right guard, while Tyler Biadasz will return for his third season as the Cowboys’ starting center.

Latest On Cowboys’ Left Guard Situation

After another free agency period featured the Cowboys’ starting left guard leaving in free agency, the team will be faced with a decision. How Dallas goes about that will determine if the team rolls out an O-line featuring its best five blockers or a group that features more positional familiarity.

Connor McGovern followed Connor Williams to the AFC East, signing with the Bills on a three-year deal worth $22.35MM. The Cowboys have Dak Prescott tied to a big-ticket deal, and Zack Martin‘s 2018 extension remains in the upper tier at guard. They are also preparing for CeeDee Lamb and Trevon Diggs payments, making the departures of McGovern and Williams the cost of doing business.

As for how the team replaces McGovern, multiple avenues look to exist. Both involve in-house solutions, per executive VP Stephen Jones. Door A would involve a backup rising into the starting role. The Cowboys are planning to move backup tackle Josh Ball to the interior this year, and the team drafted Asim Richards in the fifth round. Former Jets third-round pick Chuma Edoga also signed with the team, after having played for the Falcons last year.

I think we’ve got a talented group of linemen,’’ Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News’ David Moore. “I mean Josh Ball is here today. He’s certainly going to get an opportunity to compete for that spot. As we’ve said, we’re big fans of Chuma. [VP of player personnel] Will [McClay] and his pro staff did a lot of work on him. Probably the only thing holding him back in his career has been some medical challenges that he’s had. We really feel like he can come in there and help.”

A 2021 fourth-round pick, Ball has 41 career offensive snaps on his resume. Edoga 13 career starts but ahs primarily worked as a tackle. Jones also brought up Richards, North Carolina’s left tackle last season, as a potential entrant in this competition. However, he also mentioned the “best five” scenario that would bring a more intriguing configuration.

Our top five linemen are our top five linemen. Tyron Smith, Tyler Smith, Tyler Biadasz, Terence Steele, Zack Martin,” Jones said, via The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “Really felt like if you’re gonna get your best five who have played in this league, those are our best five. We’ll see what happens from there.”

The issue with that quintet would be Steele’s lack of guard experience. The former UDFA has been a tackle with the Cowboys and at Texas Tech. But with Tyron Smith back (and expected to slide to the right tackle spot he played last season), the Cowboys do not look to have a tackle job available. The team placed a second-round RFA tender on Steele, who has made 40 starts during a three-year career, earlier this offseason. Last year’s Week 1 right tackle is also rehabbing ACL and MCL tears. That stands to delay a Cowboys decision on where to use the contract-year blocker.

A third option would be moving Tyler Smith back to left guard, where he began his career before Tyron Smith’s avulsion fracture changed the team’s plans last summer. The younger Smith played left tackle for most of last season but started two games (Week 18 and Dallas’ wild-card win) at left guard. The second-year lineman said (via ESPN’s Todd Archer) he would be fine playing anywhere on the offensive front. With Jerry Jones labeling Smith a tackle, however, the prospect of the former first-rounder playing guard at Steele staying at right tackle might be a last resort.

McGovern’s experience gave the Cowboys an easier answer to replace Williams. The team may not know its McGovern replacement for a while.

Cowboys’ Terence Steele Signs RFA Tender

The Cowboys have Terence Steele back in the fold. More than a month after Steele received a second-round restricted free agent tender, ESPN.com’s Field Yates notes the fourth-year tackle signed it to lock in that second-tier RFA price (Twitter link).

Steele will be tied to a $4.3MM salary as a result of this signing. While Steele has a ways to go before completing rehab from ACL surgery, he is again under contract with the Cowboys. A player not signing his RFA tender would allow teams to rescind the tender and pay the player 120% of his 2022 salary. Steele having made $895K last year made this an easy decision.

This will be an interesting year for Steele. The Cowboys reached an agreement to bring back Tyron Smith on a restructured deal, keeping the All-Pro tackle on the NFL’s longest-running contract. They are planning to use the All-Decade left tackle on the right side, where he finished last season. Steele’s injury led to Smith moving to right tackle, a transition that kept first-round pick Tyler Smith at left tackle. This leaves Steele without a surefire starting spot in 2023.

Dallas is planning to give Steele, 25, a look at guard once he returns, though it will be a while before he receives clearance. He suffered the ACL tear in mid-December, though the Cowboys have said the former UDFA is ahead of schedule on his rehab journey.

While the Cowboys will look at Steele as a guard, the 40-game starter is set to be — assuming both Smiths enter the season healthy — the team’s swing tackle. This would be a significant downgrade for Steele, who is eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2024. The Cowboys lost left guard Connor McGovern in free agency, potentially creating a best-five scenario in which Steele replaces him. But the Texas Tech product has only played tackle as a pro or in college, when he was a four-year Red Raiders starter at either right or left tackle. Pro Football Focus graded Steele as a top-10 run blocker among tackles last season.

PFF graded Steele 23rd overall among tackles in 2022, marking growth from his 2020 and ’21 seasons. The Cowboys turned to Steele to replace La’el Collins in 2020, when he missed the full season due to injury, and in 2021 during the since-departed blocker’s drug suspension. Tyron Smith‘s extensive injury past does swing open a door for Steele to regain his right-side gig, but the younger lineman enters his walk year in an unusual place.

Latest On Cowboys’ Offensive Line

An avulsion fracture cost Tyron Smith most of last season, and the All-Decade tackle has missed at least three games each year dating back to 2016. The Cowboys are retaining their longest-tenured player on a restructured contract, however, and he is likely moving to right tackle on a full-time basis.

Jerry Jones said the Cowboys are planning to roll out a Tyron Smith-Tyler Smith setup at tackle. That will leave two-year right tackle starter Terence Steele, the team’s preferred La’el Collins successor last year, without a starting role. But the Cowboys prioritized Steele via a second-round restricted free agent tender, doing so despite his lack of a clear path to a first-string gig. He remains in the team’s plans, just not as a starter at present.

Steele is primarily set to become Dallas’ swing tackle, Jones added. This would be a significant downgrade for the quality starter in a contract year, but the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill notes (via Twitter) Steele will be considered at guard. Steele graded as a top-25 option at tackle last season, per Pro Football Focus, who also viewed Tyler Smith as a top-25 tackle. This would be a good problem for the Cowboys, who have needed to make adjustments in recent years due to Collins and Tyron Smith running into injury trouble.

He’s such a top tackle … as we have it right now, he should be the backup tackle on both sides as we would look at it right today,” Jones said of Steele. “That’s a lot of position flex right there. You say, ‘Why don’t you move Tyler in [to guard]?’ but we also know that Tyron and Tyler both would make quite a tandem out there. The smart play would be to have outstanding depth there and Steele gives you that.

Jones also mentioned a possible rotation, which would seemingly involve Steele and Tyron Smith. Even as the organization has moved Tyron off his longtime spot (left tackle), Hill adds it views the Hall of Fame candidate as a superior pass-blocking option to Steele on the right side. Tyron finished last season as Dallas’ primary right tackle, replacing Steele after the younger blocker suffered a torn ACL. For now, the Cowboys will carry all three at tackle.

PFF slotted Steele as a top-10 run blocker at the position, which could open the door to a guard path. Steele was a four-year starter at Texas Tech but played either right or left tackle for the Big 12 program. Dallas did lose its starting left guard in free agency for a second straight year, with Connor McGovern (Bills) following Connor Williams (Dolphins) to the AFC East. Jones pointed to the draft or another in-house solution, mentioning Matt Waletzko or Matt Farniok, as routes the team could take to replace McGovern. The Cowboys chose Waletzko in the 2022 fifth round and added Farinok in the 2021 seventh. Farniok started two games at guard last season; Waletzko played just three games before a shoulder injury shut him down.

Cowboys Reach Restructure Agreement With Tyron Smith

MARCH 15: The Cowboys have reached a restructure agreement with Smith, according to the team. This move, which Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (via Twitter) will involve converting part of the All-Decade-teamer’s $13.6MM base salary into incentives, will reduce his $17.6MM cap number.

FEBRUARY 28: Tyron Smith remains attached to the NFL’s longest-standing contract, an extension he agreed to back in 2014. The All-Decade tackle has finally reached a contract year.

The Cowboys drafted Tyler Smith in the 2022 first round and plugged him in at Tyron’s longtime spot, after the elder Smith suffered a significant hamstring injury that kept him off the field for most of the season. But the Cowboys look to envision the Smith-Smith setup persisting for at least one more season.

The team expects Tyron Smith back in the fold in 2023. The final year of Smith’s contract calls for a $17.6MM cap number and $13.6MM base salary. Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones did not rule out another restructure, a well the Cowboys have gone to a few times with the Hall of Fame-caliber blocker.

I mean, we always do reworks and things of that nature. That could come up with him,” Jones said, via ESPN.com’s Todd Archer (on Twitter). “We have the ability to do that and, but right now, we’re comfortable where we are.”

The Cowboys restructured Smith’s deal in 2016, 2017, 2020 and 2021. It remains interesting Smith’s eight-year, $97.6MM extension has lasted this long. The 6-foot-8 blocker, however, ran into a host of injury issues over the course of this contract. The most notable setbacks came during the 2020s, with a neck malady sidelining him for almost all of the 2020 season and last year’s avulsion fracture shelving him for 13 games. Smith also underwent arthroscopic knee surgery this offseason. The injuries notwithstanding, Smith has piled up Pro Bowls to assemble a quality Canton case.

Where Tyron Smith lines up next year will be one of the key Cowboys storylines coming out of the offseason. The team still has Terence Steele in its plans. The team’s post-La’el Collins solution at right tackle, Steele is recovering from ACL and MCL tears. The young blocker is ahead of schedule in his rehab, Archer tweets, and on track for training camp. The Cowboys have not determined which RFA tender will be applied to the former UDFA, but Archer adds the rarely used first-round tender ($6MM this year) is in play. The second-round tender is set to cost $4.3MM.

Steele, 25, certainly could generate interest if a second-round tender is applied. The Cowboys would collect a second-round pick if they failed to match an offer sheet for the 40-game starter. Steele returning would restore the uncertainty regarding the Smiths’ positions. Rather than slot Tyron Smith at his blindside post, the Cowboys used the 12-year veteran to replace Steele. Moving Tyler Smith back to guard, his position during training camp, could stunt his growth. The Cowboys expect Tyler Smith to be their long-term left tackle, potentially pointing to Steele or Tyron Smith needing to move off right tackle.

Cowboys To Place Second-Round RFA Tender On RT Terence Steele

The Cowboys were recently said to be weighing their options with right tackle Terence Steele with respect to a restricted free agent tender. A decision has reportedly been made on that front.

Dallas will place the second-round RFA tender on Steele, per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Doing so carries a value of $4.3MM for 2023, a figure which comfortably surpasses the $2.295MM he has earned to date on his rookie contract. The first-round tender would have cost the team just over $6MM.

Steele, 25, has played in 45 games across his three seasons with the Cowboys. He has logged 40 starts over that span, primarily at right tackle. His level of play at that spot allowed Dallas to move on from La’el Collins and commit to the Texas Tech alum full time in 2022. Steele took a step forward in PFF rating for the third straight year, generating an overall grade of 73.9. That figure ranked 23rd out of 81 qualifying tackles. As Gehlken notes, that makes him part of the Cowboys’ long-term o-line plans.

Steele’s 2022 campaign was cut short by ACL and MCL tears. However, his recovery is going well so far, and a return in time for training camp is expected. Before that point, Steele’s financial future will likely become clearer. Their chosen tender will earn the Cowboys a second round pick if Steele signs an offer sheet with another team and they decline to match it. Given his age and experience, it will be interesting to monitor if a multi-year deal worth notably more than the tender’s value is put on the table, and how the Cowboys would respond to it. Steele can negotiate with teams up until April 21.

This news comes as Dallas faces the problem of trying to keep all three of their top tackles in the fold for 2023. Longtime blindside protector Tyron Smith has just one year remaining on his current deal, at a cap hit of over $17.6MM, while 2022 first-rounder Tyler Smith filled in at LT for much of his rookie season. Deciding on the elder Smith’s future and the latter’s best short-term position could become part of their offensive line equation if Steele draws considerable outside interest.