Tyron Smith's advice to NFL rookies: 'Don't let people take advantage of you'
MAY 17, 2013 3:43p ET
What Austin was talking about with the Rams' official website is similar to what Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith has endured during his first two seasons in the league.
In a story published Friday by The Dallas Morning News, Smith explains to Cowboys beat writer Brandon George how he was "betrayed" by his family when he realized money was missing from his bank account. Smith said after he signed his four-year, $12.5 million rookie contract with the Cowboys in 2011 that he gave his family members a substantial amount of money. But they wanted more.
"I feel like I shouldn't have given them so much," Smith said. "There was nothing wrong with helping them out and making sure they were taken care of, but not something to where they live the same lifestyle as you."
A year ago, after Smith learned he would be moving from right tackle to left tackle, he texted his parents to pass along the news. However, what he received in return was not encouragement or well wishes. Smith says they were "already looking forward to the next contract, talking about things they wanted to get already."
Smith's family problems have led to the 6-5, 308-pounder filing protective orders against his mother, father and several other family members.
It's likely that Smith, 22, is not the only NFL player in a difficult situation where siblings and friends are looking to capitalize on a player's success. And with the numerous stories that have surfaced about successful professional athletes being broke only a few years removed from their playing days, there are plenty of examples of why athletes like Smith have to be more cautious than ever.
So what would Smith's advice be to a player like Austin who is just entering the league?
"Don't let people take advantage of you," Smith said. "And it's all right to say no to certain people."
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