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Introducing the Cowboys’ newest DT, Mazi Smith

Despite a long night of twists and turns around them, the stood fast with their 26th overall pick on Thursday.

When their time come to turn in the card, the Cowboys selected Defensive from Michigan.

The pick was a surprise for some, underwhelming for a few, and a relief for others.

But who have the Cowboys actually invested in?

Who is Mazi Smith?

From Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mazi attended East Kentwood High School. He led his team to the state quarterfinals in his senior year while recording 81 tackles and 18 tackles for a loss.

Mazi was a four-star prospect in the 2019 recruiting class. ranked him the number 38 player in the country and the number two in the class.

He received scholarship offers from Penn State, Alabama, Georgia, , and Wisconsin among other power-5 schools.

But Mazi decided to stay in state and take his talents to Ann Arbor by committing to the University of Michigan.

Mazi played in just seven games in his first two years as a Wolverine, registering only a few tackles, all in his sophomore year.

But his junior year saw him become a stalwart on the .

He started every game of the with 37 tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss. He was an All-Big 10 honorable mention and won the Richard Katcher Award, an annual Michigan award given to the best of the season.

In the August before his senior season, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic ranked Mazi number one on his annual list of “freaks.” Joining the likes of Myles Garrett and former teammate Kwity Paye who have previously been ranked a “top freak” by Bruce Feldman.

Mazi went on to start every game of the season yet again, meaning he started 28 straight games for the Wolverines.

His senior season saw him named a mid-season All-American by The Athletic, he earned a place on the All-Big 10 first team and won Michigan's .

Beyond his performances on Saturdays, Mazi Smith was also an academic standout. Majoring in creative writing, Mazi was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

But the newest member of the Dallas Cowboys isn't completely free from adversity.

In October 2022, Mazi was pulled over by Ann Arbor Police for speeding. It was then found that Smith was carrying a firearm without a concealed carry license.

He was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, a felony.

However, that was dismissed as part of his guilty plea in favor of the lesser charge of attempted possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.

The firearm in Smith's possession was registered to him, he just didn't have the correct license to conceal it. A license he was reportedly going through the process of getting at the time of the traffic stop, and now has.

Smith was sentenced to 12 months probation and 40 hours of community service for the incident, per WWJ.

The incident alone isn't enough to bring his character into dispute. A one-time, isolated incident is more than outweighed by his other on and off-field attributes.

There will be plenty of time to argue for and against the Mazi Smith draft pick. But for now, he's a Cowboy, so best get used to him.

Ross Love
Ross Love
Cowboys fan and sports blogger from across the pond in Scotland. Tell me how wrong my opinions are on Twitter @rosslove22

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