3 Cowboys Who Aren't Safe After First Week of Free Agency

As the Dallas Cowboys' offseason continues, not everybody's future in Big D is guaranteed. Here are three players who still aren't safe following Week 1 of free agency.

RB Deuce Vaughn is one of three Cowboys who aren't safe following the first week of free agency.
RB Deuce Vaughn is one of three Cowboys who aren't safe following the first week of free agency. / Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
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3. DT Mazi Smith

If you paid close attention to the Cowboys last season, you know how disappointing it was to watch Mazi Smith. The 2023 draft's 26th-overall selection entered the NFL with a lot of fanfare due to his impressive physical attributes, making him the ideal piece of clay to mold into an impact defender for years to come.

Much to Cowboys fans' dismay, though, Smith looked like a fish out of water. The ex-Michigan defender finished his rookie year as the No. 113-graded defender out of 130 eligible players on Pro Football Focus. after only recording eight solo tackles and eight total pressures while playing 303 defensive snaps.

Dallas' staff also allegedly encouraged Smith to lose a ton of weight before the season began, which ultimately backfired. Without one of the things that made him an attractive prospect (his size), Smith struggled to stop opposing rushers, playing to a 31.8 run defense grade on PFF — the seventh-worst mark at his position.

The Cowboys haven't signed any new defensive linemen this offseason, but that doesn't mean Smith's outlook is promising. Whether it's putting the weight back on or adapting to his new size, the former Wolverine must find a way to contribute at the NFL level or risk getting replaced by a veteran free agent or a more promising rookie.

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