- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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At least that's how ESPN Insider and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik sees it.
Dominik offered an Insider piece on the players every team would consider signing as a free agent. He had some criteria: no major durability concerns, no character red flags and the player must be able to play in any scheme.
Here's what he wrote about Smith, one of the two players from the NFC East:
"He's a dominant tackle with an elite combination of power and athleticism who can play on either the left or right side."
After signing a 10-year deal last summer for $110 million, there is no chance of Smith having the chance to sign with another team unless there is an unforeseen slip in play that would take him off this list. And when the 10-year deal expires, there remains a good chance the Cowboys sign him to another deal since tackles can play into their late 30s at a high level.
Smith is entering his fifth season. He has been named to the Pro Bowl the past two years and figures to become a staple at the NFL's all-star game.
And he doesn't turn 25 until December.
Crazy, isn't it?
Smith has been so good so quickly that he now has college players attempting to emulate his game. Chaz Green talked about it after the Cowboys drafted him in the third round. La'el Collins, whom Smith hosted during his Southern Cal recruiting visit, also said it.
Smith has become the standard that is usually reserved for older players.
"It kind of goes by quick," Smith said. "I have a long way to go myself. I am almost there. Not almost there, but I got a long way to go."
Collins has been around Smith for only a few weeks and is more impressed now that he is up close with Smith than having to watch him on film.
"It's incredible because I know how hard it is," Collins said. "It's not easy at all. A guy like that you can tell he's done this thing a thousand times over and over and over. I just feel like if I can continue to work the same way he works and put the time he puts in and everybody on the offensive line [puts in], I think it's going to help us out a whole lot."