Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith (Getty Images)
(USA Today) -- You'd think that signing a four-year deal worth $12.5 million would change most families lives for the better. In the case of 21-year-old Dallas Cowboys second-year left tackle Tyron Smith, it appears to be tearing his apart.
According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, Smith, who was the ninth overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft out of USC, called 911 Tuesday afternoon, claiming several siblings "showed up to 'harass and torment' him 'in the pursuit of collecting financial gain.'"
The story says that Smith had to file a restraining order over the summer against his mother and stepfather, which included contact from them through his three sisters and two brothers. It also notes a Cowboys source saying that one of Smith's family members had to be removed from the team facility during training camp.
"Lesser means were tried and they weren't successful," Smith's attorney John Schorsch told the paper. "You can use your own imagination as to what it took for a guy that big and that imposing to be that worried."
The 6'5", 308-pound Smith attended Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley, Calif., about an hour east of Los Angeles, where he was named the top offensive tackle prospect in the nation by Scout.com in 2006. He's the second young Cowboys player to publicly deal with family related drama in recent months, as wide receiver Dez Bryant was charged with misdemeanor family violence charges following a July 14 incident in which he allegedly slapped his mother.
The youngest player in the NFL as a rookie last season, Smith seems to be struggling with some very grown-up circumstances when it comes to dealing with his relatives. While there are plenty of tales about extravagant spending, bad investments and the need to support friends from childhood being the root causes for athlete money troubles later in their careers, the family pressures on young athletes often are not as publicized.
Last month the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "Broke" touched upon the subject, as former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar talked about how his father poorly invested millions of Kosar's earnings and several other athletes came clean about how they were stuck doing things like paying mortgages for numerous family members when they couldn't afford to.
It's a shame if Smith is getting extorted by the people who are supposed to be the ones he is supposed to be able to rely on the most for support. That's a heavy weight for anyone to carry, no matter how physically powerful they are.