In 2011, Tony Romo was the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, DeMarco Murray was the leading rusher, and Jason Witten and Dez Bryant caught the most passes on the team. That is when Tyron Smith started playing left tackle for America’s team, but now he is a free agent, and it looks like his time in Big D is done. And where he decides to go after his Cowboys run in NFL free agency could provide a major swing in the league.

“End of an era: #Cowboys All-Pro and Pro Bowl LT Tyron Smith will be a free agent and is unlikely to return to Dallas, sources say,” NFL Network insider Adam Schefter reported on Saturday. “The blindside protector since 2011, Smith will be highly coveted.”

Heading into his 14th NFL season, the 33-year-old Smith may be done in Dallas due to his price tag and the team’s salary cap situation, but he’s not done in the league by a long shot. The big OT can still play. In 2023, he was the fourth-ranked (of 81) offensive tackle in the league, only behind the Detroit Lions' Penei Sewell, San Francisco 49ers' Trent Williams, and Philadelphia Eagles' Jordan Mialata.

For any team that can afford the $18-$20 million per year that top left tackles command these days, signing Tyron Smith as a free agent this offseason would be a huge coup.

The eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2011 overall draft out of USC. He lived up to the billing, starting 161 games in the next 13 seasons for the Cowboys, only missing one game in his first five seasons.

Now the question is, what does Smith do next?

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Does he take a massive pay cut to try and win a Super Bowl with a team like the Kansas City Chiefs? Will he take the bag and sign on to watch a rookie’s blindside with a team like the Washington Commanders? Or will he try and split the difference and hook up with a fringe contender with some cap space like the New York Jets?

Time will tell, and the outcome could cause a major shift in the NFL.