Left tackle Tyron Smith held down the Dallas Cowboys' left tackle spot for 13 seasons with a level play that has him on a likely path toward the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Eight Pro Bowls, two First Team All-Pro selections and a selection as a member of the league's 2010s All-Decade Team is the result of his body of work since being selected ninth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft out of USC. However, the Cowboys' 3-6 postseason record in Smith's career has resulted in him never advancing past the divisional round of the playoffs. His decision to sign with the New York Jets to team with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who eliminated him and the Cowboys in the postseason twice when he was on the Green Bay Packers, was all about pursuing a Super Bowl title. 

"I saw that, what they [the Jets] can do as far as the team, and everyone wants to win as any team does," Smith said Thursday, per the team's Twitter account. "I just feel like they have all the pieces together right now with the final pieces this offseason to produce a team that could go all the way. I played against Aaron [Rodgers] throughout my career a couple times [in the postseason]. I know what kind of quarterback he is. I know what he can do if you just give him a little bit of time. I'm just here to do my best to give him that time."

Smith is a part of the Jets' offensive line overhaul in front of Rodgers, whose Jets debut in Week 1 of the 2023 season lasted four snaps before a torn Achilles ended his season. New York also signed former Ravens offensive guard John Simpson (two years, $12 million) and traded for former Ravens offensive tackle Morgan Moses.

Despite being hamstrung by various injuries over the years, Smith was able to suit up for for 13 of the Cowboys' 17 regular-season games as well as their latest playoff defeat against the Packers. In the regular season, Smith only allowed one sack and 16 quarterback pressures, barely more than one a game. His 89.9 Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade led all NFL offensive tackles in 2023. 

"It speaks for what's been happening for the past couple of years," Smith said, per ESPN, of his one-year contract with $6.5 million guaranteed and $13.5 million accessible through incentives. "Honestly, I think it's a fair deal."     

Thanks to Dallas' inactivity this offseason, most notably not extending 2023 NFL MVP runner-up quarterback Dak Prescott and 2023 NFL receptions leader wide receiver CeeDee Lamb -- both of whom are in the last year of their current contracts -- the Cowboys have had little cap space ($5.5 million at the moment, per OverTheCap.com) to make moves in free agency. They have signed only one external free agent thus far in linebacker Eric Kendricks

"And for the way things were looking in Dallas, I knew it was most likely going to be the Jets," Smith said. "Honestly, I got excited for a new chapter in my life."