When it comes time for the Cowboys to extend tackle Tyron Smith's contract, Jerry Jones should find a way to make sure that there's an extra $15, 750 on top of whatever offer the two sides agree upon in negotiations.
That's because Mike Fisher of FOXSportsSouthwest.com reports that Smith has been fined that amount for his horse collar tackle on Giants linebacker Michael Boley last Wednesday night. Boley was returning an interception at the time and Smith's tackle kept him from taking the ball all the way into the end zone. The Cowboys only lost a couple of yards since Boley was already close to paydirt and the defense's ability to hold the Giants to a field goal helped set the team up for victory.
The team can't pay the fine for Smith, but it is something they should keep in mind when it comes time to hammer out a new contract. Jones isn't hurting for cash and that win should wind up being worth a great deal to the Cowboys in the long run. Heck, they could probably sell enough Jerry Wipes to take care of the whole deal.
No one knows how the rest of the game plays out if Boley is able to get six for the Giants right there, but it's safe to assume that the win would have been at least a little bit more difficult. Jason Garrett praised Smith's hustle and determination after the game, platitudes that hit the nail right on the head.
We talked the other day about the Cowboys' need to cut down on penalties after picking up 13 of them in last week's win. We also talked about the difference between penalties that occur in the flow of the game and ones that are undisciplined mental errors.
Smith had too many of the latter against the Giants. His three false starts aren't acceptable under any circumstances, but the horse collar penalty is exactly the kind of penalty that coaches should be just fine with when they review tapes after the game.
Smith did what he had to do in order to keep the other team from scoring a touchdown. He didn't do anything malicious, although it was a clear penalty, and he didn't put his team in a more difficult position than they would have been in if he just let Boley blow by like cool breeze. Being upset about that would be incredibly counter-productive.
The fine is a lot of money, probably a good bit more than Smith deserved given the context of the play. It's a drop in the bucket compared to simply letting someone score a touchdown, though, and, strangely enough given the flag and fine, Smith's effort should be highlighted as the right way to play the game.