12 Dallas Cowboys critical for success in 2023 (the Dirty Dozen)

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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Dallas Cowboys
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Leighton Vander Esch

The Dallas Cowboys made a wise decision by re-signing the wolf hunter, and it is considered a great acquisition for the team. Not since 2018 has Vander Esch had such an impressive football season as he did this past year.

Although he possesses a range of skills and abilities, his versatility often goes unnoticed.

Leighton Vander Esch defensive Alignment Snap counts in 2022

Defensive Line = 20

In the Box = 671

Free safety = 0

5 Slot = 50

Corner = 4

Allowed 7.3 yards per reception in coverage.

Allowed 142 Yards After the Catch = Lowest of career.

Don’t listen to Cowboys Twitter.

In addition, his team really felt the absence of his talent for positioning his teammates when he was out for a few games last year.

Mazi Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have finally addressed one has been a major weakness in their defense for a long time. With their first round pick in the draft they selected DT/NT Mazi Smith out of Michigan.

The Cowboys run defense has been a problem. Mazi Smith is a solution to fixing it. I don’t care if content creators on twitter are butt hurt because Dallas didn’t take a stupid pill and select Joey Porter Jr or resign Carlos Watkins.

If Carlos Watkins is your best interior defensive lineman who have problems. Love him as the 4th best player but not your first.

That is not going to cut it.  Imagine what Micah Parson could achieve is the Cowboys had a true bully inside. Brian Baldinger makes a strong point about this.

Mazi Smith is a grown man doing things in the weight room that would make Larry Allen smile.

No one is asking him to do anything he is not capable of doing. Handle the double teams, keep the linebackers clean, and break things.

The entire Dallas Cowboys defense will benefit greatly in 2023 from pairing Mazi Smith and Johnathan Hankins.