Chiefs Called ‘Landing Spot’ for Cowboys 2-Time All-Pro Starter

If there is one area of concern for the Kansas City Chiefs heading into the 2024 Super Bowl, it’s the offensive tackle position.

Chiefs labeled landing spot for Cowboys LT Tyron Smith in 2024 NFL free agency.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers prevented the Chiefs from winning back-to-back championship games in February of 2021 in large part because KC was unable to contain their pass rush. This season, quarterback Patrick Mahomes II has dealt with similar issues on the edge.

According to Pro Football Focus, Chiefs left tackle Donovan Smith was tied for the 11th worst pass-blocking efficiency in the NFL during the 2023 regular season, while right tackle Jawaan Taylor was tied for 22nd worst (minimum 50% snaps played). Taylor was also penalized more than any other lineman in football (20 flags).

That all ties into PFF writer Brad Spielberger predicting that Dallas Cowboys long-time left tackle Tyron Smith lands in Kansas City with the AFC champs at age 33.

“If Smith were to leave the one team he’s ever played with, the team that he nearly completed an eight-year extension with before signing a reduced one-year deal in 2023, it would presumably have to be a clear Super Bowl contender,” Spielberger reasoned. “So, the Chiefs are our obvious selection here, looking to replace veteran Donovan Smith with another veteran in [Tyron] Smith, who is still one of the best blindside pass protectors in the NFL when healthy.”

Tyron Smith for Donovan Smith Exchange Would Benefit Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

The Chiefs wide receivers took a lot of flak this season, but poor offensive tackle play was an underlying issue for most of the year as well. Donovan Smith was not great — plain and simple — and Tyron Smith would be a major upgrade on the similarly-aged blocker.

The difference between the two is that the two-time Cowboys All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowler is not showing signs of age, outside of injuries — which Donovan Smith has dealt with too.

Tyron Smith was PFF’s top graded pass protector in the NFL this season with an elite mark of 88.6. He was only charged with one sack and one QB hit during the 2023 campaign, with 18 total QB pressures allowed and a pass-blocking efficiency of 98.1 — which ranked third for his entire career.

That pass-blocking efficiency also ranked second for the entire position behind Detroit Lions 2021 first rounder Penei Sewell.

Needless to say, Tyron Smith proved he hasn’t lost a step yet in 2023 while Donovan Smith did not. Considering Dallas only guaranteed the left tackle $6 million this year (he earned $9 million after incentives), the 161-game starter could likely be had at the right price tag.

By the way, the Chiefs currently have over $24 million in available cap space in 2024. The Cowboys on the other hand are in the negative at over $19.74 million in the hole.

Will the Chiefs OTs Hold Up in Super Bowl Repeat Attempt vs. 49ers?

Back to the task at hand, the Chiefs must make do with Donovan Smith and Taylor in the 2024 Super Bowl vs. the San Francisco 49ers.

That means Nick Bosa and Chase Young will have the opportunity to tee off on Mahomes, as the Bucs did a few years ago during the last repeat attempt. It doesn’t help that Chiefs left guard Joe Thuney is trending toward an absence — although Nick Allegretti has proven to be a capable backup.

This Niners defensive line is a stacked group, led by Bosa and veteran defensive tackles Javon Hargrave and Arik Armstead.

Bosa ranked third in the NFL for total quarterback pressures in 2023 with 95 according to PFF, while Young finished 20th with 66 (two teams combined). The Chiefs top pass rushers — defensive linemen Chris Jones and George Karlaftis — finished 12th and tied for 23rd, respectively, with 75 pressures for Jones and 64 for Karlaftis.

Despite all the star power on the field, this Super Bowl could be won and lost in the trenches. If the Chiefs fall in Las Vegas, they might want to get Tyron Smith on the phone this March.

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