The Dallas Cowboys have locked in their right tackle position for the foreseeable future. The club signed Terence Steele to a five-year extension worth $86.8 million including $50 million guaranteed, Steele's agency, Roc Nation Sports, confirmed Monday. It also has a max value of $91.8 million, per ESPN. Steele was entering the final year of his previous deal and was set to be a free agent after the 2023 season. Naturally, he was thrilled to have a long-term home with the Silver and Blue.
"I'm glad to be here," Steele said on Monday, via The Athletic. "It makes me feel like all the hard work I've put in has paid off. But I also know there is more work to put in. I won't be complacent. It all worked out, so I'm happy. This a dream come true. I've thought about this since I was very young. To actually see it come to fruition, it's awesome."
His head coach couldn't be happier because of the impression Steele made upon him from Day 1.
"Terence Steele the man, just look at his journey here and his first year, he's earned everything," Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday. "He's someone that we have a very high value tied to him. He's earned his contract. I'm proud of him. His work ethic and the way he goes about it. He has vastly improved every year. It says so much about him as a person."
Steele, now 26 years old, arrived in Dallas as an undrafted free agent in 2020 out of Texas Tech. He was thrust into a starting role almost instantly due to injuries across the Cowboys offensive line and started 14 games for the club that season. Steele has since primarily suited up as the team's right tackle, but has also shown some versatility to switch over to left tackle like he did in 2021 filling in for the injured Tyron Smith. Following that surprise jump to the starting lineup as a rookie, head coach Mike McCarthy said he knew then that Steele could be a foundational piece of the Cowboys offensive for the next decade.
"I think you go back to any time you have a chance to work with a young player, a first impression really sticks with me," Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said on August 31. "I remember during his rookie orientation during the pandemic year just really being impressed with him since Day 1, and we hadn't put the pads on yet. Just his work ethic and the way he goes about it. He's always been no nonsense, extremely coachable, very bright. He's a glue guy. He has connected really strongly, not only in the o-line room but the locker room. Terence is a stud."
Steele played in 13 games last season before suffering a torn ACL and MCL against the Texans in Week 14, which sidelined him for the remainder of the year. Given this deal, Dallas clearly believes that injury won't dampen Steele's ascent and availability going forward.
"I haven't seen someone come back that clean," McCarthy said August 31 when asked if he had ever seen a recovery like Steele's from the knee injuries he suffered. "He hasn't missed a day, and that's Terence. He's in there at the same time every day doing the pre-rehab, so it feels like he never left."
This is just the latest deal that Dallas has executed this offseason. The Cowboys also signed corner Trevon Diggs to a five-year, $97 million extension, guard Zack Martin to a two-year, $36.85 million deal, and placed the franchise tag on running back Tony Pollard. On top of those three deals and Steele's latest extension, the team also has a handful of looming extensions on the horizon, including quarterback Dak Prescott and wideout CeeDee Lamb, who are eligible for an extension at the moment. Star linebacker Micah Parsons also becomes extension eligible next offseason.