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LT Tyron Smith on Departing Dallas, Landing with Jets: 'Amazing New Start'

14th-Year OL Eager to Work with Aaron Rodgers and the Offense: 'All the Pieces Are Starting to Come Together'


Spend a decade plus three years with one employer and it can be difficult to pull up your stakes, get on a plane and fly to a new part of the country and a new business opportunity.

And so it has been with Tyron Smith. But the Dallas Cowboys' decorated left tackle for most of his 13 seasons under the Star, who signed his new contract with the Jets at their training center Monday, is ready to make the most of his relocation.

"I feel like it's an amazing new start," Smith told's Caroline Hendershot, about the new beginning for him as well as for how his new team is shaping up. "What's being built here is amazing. It's built to win."

The faces are all new at One Jets Drive but there are similarities. Instead of playing for Cowpoke head coaches Jason Garrett and Mike McCarthy, now he's in Robert Saleh's program. "He has a lot of energy, a lot of passion. He's somebody I'm going to love to play for."

Then instead of blocking for a young star in QB Dak Prescott, he'll be protecting the blind side of an "old" gunslinger in Aaron Rodgers.

"I know what kind of player he is," Smith said of ARod. "I know he's extremely intelligent and I know we're always going to be on the same page. I think him being in the game for so long the stuff we all know about that he does, we've just got to pick his brain."

Smith is also trading in skill position teammates. Instead of keeping people off Prescott so he can find the likes of Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, it'll be about buying time for Rodgers to hook up with Garrett Wilson. Instead of creating lanes for Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, now it's time to bust open some alleyways for Breece Hall.

"Just from seeing how everybody plays, I feel like it's going to be an amazing season," he said. "I feel like all the pieces are starting to come together, especially the guys they've brought in for the offensive line. I feel like it's going to be a strong offense this year."

Smith should know a strong offense when he sees it. In those 13 lucky seasons in Big D, he played on six top-10 yardage offenses, including the No. 1 units in 2019 and '21, and on seven top-10 scoring offenses, including the NFL's very best scoring teams in '21 and last season.

Personally, he's almost always been considered a left tackle — of his 170 starts, including playoffs, he's made 148 of the last 154 on the left side. He was almost invincible in his first five seasons, missing only one game and start, but the past eight seasons he's had injuries big and small that have cost him anywhere from three to 14 games a season. Yet he always comes back stronger than ever, including the '21 season, after which he played in his eighth and most recent Pro Bowl, and again in '23, when he followed up his '22 training camp hamstring tear with 14 starts and 942 offensive snaps.

And Smith remains one of the best blindside pass protectors in the game. Over those last eight seasons, despite the injuries, he's allowed a sack on average once every six games and once every 400 plays.

"I bring it every day. I'm a hard worker and I harp on technique always," he described his play at the age of 33 and after almost 11,000 NFL snaps. "Any way I can help the rest of the offensive linemen out as far as technique and advice, and also there are things I can always learn from them. But also just to bring any kind of leadership I can."

See photos of OL Tyron Smith visiting the training facility for the first time as a Jet.

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