FRISCO — A wave of emotions washed over Terence Steele as he signed his contract Monday.
A few hours later the right tackle stood outside the Cowboys locker room, trying to put his feelings into words.
“There he is,” Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin bellowed as he saw reporters surrounding Steele. “Big Money.”
Steele was an undrafted rookie free agent out of Texas Tech when he joined the Cowboys back in 2020. Now, he’s a multi-million dollar fixture in the offensive line with a contract that ties him to the club through the ‘28 season.
The five-year extension Steele reached over the weekend can max out at $91.8 million. The total guarantee is $50 million.
The first call he made to share the news was to his parents. The next one?
His financial advisor.
Cowboys RT Terence Steele was overcome w/ emotion Monday when he signed his $86.8 million extension.— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) September 4, 2023
“Just happy,” he said. “Happy it all paid off. It’s a dream come true. I’ve thought of this since I was very young.
“To actually see it come to fruition was awesome.” pic.twitter.com/orjrBpMtBQ
“Just happy," Steele said. “I’m happy it all paid off. It’s a dream come true. I’ve thought of this since I was very young.
“To actually see it come to fruition was awesome."
The odds were against Steele when the seven-round draft was complete back in ‘20 without his name being called. He narrowed his choices to the Cowboys and Las Vegas Raiders. He chose the Cowboys because he grew up in Texas.
Not only did he make the team, but a rash of injuries led to him starting 14 games that season. He was thrown into the fire and responded.
Last season was cut short due to a torn ACL, MCL and MPFL in his left knee. The way he attacked his rehabilitation to return for the start of this season was just the latest example of why he earned this extension.
“Just look at his journey here," head coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s earned everything. He’s someone we have very high value tied to him.
“We’re really proud of him. Just his work ethic and the way he goes about it. He’s improved every year in what we’ve asked of him. It says so much about him as a person."
What makes him so special?
“It’s the man," McCarthy said. “Terence Steele."
Steele does have a sense of accomplishment for what he’s established with the Cowboys.
“It makes me feel awesome," Steele said. “It makes me feel like all of the hard work I’ve put in has paid off.
“But I also know there’s more work to put in. I won’t be complacent. I’m ready to push it forward."
Catch David Moore on The Ticket (KTCK-AM 1310 and 96.7 FM) with the Musers at 9:35 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the Hardline at 4:35 p.m. every Tuesday and Friday during Cowboys season.