With the Dallas Cowboys on the clock at 26th, they were fielding calls to trade down. One potential trade partner would have been the Kansas City Chiefs.
Talks between the teams ended when the Chiefs announced who they planned on drafting. The Chiefs were interested in the player the Dallas Cowboys wanted.
The Cowboys found their number one pick drafting Defensive Tackle (DT) from the University of Michigan, Mazi Smith.
With many of the Cowboys' prospects being off the board before their selection, they shifted their focus to fulfilling holes in the team.
After Running Back Bijan Robinson got drafted 8th overall by the Atlanta Falcons, many fans speculated the Cowboys would draft Running Back Jahmyr Gibbs. However, he was drafted four picks later at 12th by the Detroit Lions.
Adding to an already stellar defense, what can Cowboys fans expect from Mazi Smith?
Smith can be the run-stopper the Cowboys desperately need and deserve. The Cowboys finished the season with the 12th-best-ranked defense in the league (330.2 total yards allowed).
They did have a top-10 pass defense, ranked 8th overall (200.9 total passing yards allowed per game).
However, their run defense hampered this team. Finishing as the 22nd best run defense (allowing 129.3 total rush yards per game).
The Cowboys currently have DT Jonathan Hankins signed, but he is 31 and is on a 1-year contract.
Under Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn, the sky is the limit with Mazi Smith.
Many scouts compare Smith to Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Vita Vea. Smith is being labeled as one of the most athletic defensive tackles to enter the NFL in a while.
Smith was a 2022 Consensus first-team All-Big 10 player. He was also crowned the 2022 Michigan Defensive Player of the Year.
There's a mixed reaction currently on Twitter amongst Cowboys fans, with many loving the pick and others not agreeing with the decision to draft Smith.
On the other hand, All-Pro Linebacker Micah Parsons couldn't be more ecstatic.
Parsons had noted that he texted Quinn asking them to draft Smith hours before the draft. Parsons also stated, “No more quarterback sneaks.” Something that Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles killed the Cowboys with last season.
Smith recorded a whopping 48 tackles in the 2022 season. He had 2.5 tackles for a loss, as well as 0.5 sacks. He also recorded one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 2022.
The scouting report on Smith is one that should bring joy to Cowboys fans.
He had numerous flashes of being an elite pass rusher. Although he's not expected to be an every-down player in the NFL, he has the size and physicality to punish the run game when in the game.
At 6 feet 2 inches tall and 323 pounds, Smith is going to be a unit in the NFL. Pairing him with Hankins should make one of Dallas's weaknesses instantly better.
Although he does have things to work on such as his ability to finish at the quarterback, he should learn all the tools necessary under Quinn.
The Cowboys have their run-stopper.
Let's wait and see what's next for Jerry and the Boys as they look to draft players to instantly make an impact in the quest for a Super Bowl Trophy.