We've talked a lot on here about the difficulty of assessing players' on-field performance without really understanding what's going on in their non-football lives. An example has come to light with regard to Dallas Cowboys second-year left tackle Tyron Smith, whose struggles this year switching from right tackle to left tackle have been nothing compared to what he's apparently dealing with at home. Per the Dallas Morning News, citing a police report, the 21-year-old Smith's siblings have been showing up at his home to "harass and torment" him "in the pursuit of collecting financial gain." Smith has filed a protective order against his mother and his stepfather, and the order also prohibits contact through Smith's three sisters and two brothers:
Smith, 6-5 and 308 pounds, is being represented by Dallas-based attorneys Royce West and John Schorsch.
"Lesser means were tried and they weren't successful," Schorsch said. "You can use your own imagination as to what it took for a guy that big and that imposing to be that worried."
Schorsch said West filed the restraining order. West said, "I can't shed any light without visiting with him first."
Smith, who was the NFL's youngest player last year, gave his family a substantial amount of money after signing a four-year, $12.5 million contract in July 2011, sources said, after he was drafted with the ninth overall pick out of the University of Southern California. However, family members keep coming back for more, sources said.
You've surely heard stories in the past of athletes who hit it big, financially, when they reach the professional level and have to deal with money and family problems as a result. It sounds as though Smith is going through something very difficult off the field and he continues to try and hone his craft on the field at the NFL level. The story says the Cowboys are aware of the problem and have "an organizational structure in place to help Smith avoid any incidents around the club," so it's clear that Smith and those around him are taking this all very seriously.