6 Cowboys Defenders on Thin Ice After Mike Zimmer Hiring

Which Cowboys defenders are now on thin ice with Mike Zimmer on board?

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2. Mazi Smith, DL

The success of Mike Zimmer's defense is predicated on the front four getting pressure. The Dallas Cowboys seemingly have that covered with the likes of Micah Parsons coming off the edge, but they need more out of 2023 first-round pick Mazi Smith.

Smith was arguably playing out of position this past year and looked like a fish out of water in Dan Quinn's defense. It's one thing to boast a bunch of traits and make a number of lists for your freakish athletic ability, but to disappear when you get the chance to play?

That's not a good sign.

Smith is going to need to make a substantial impact in his second NFL season, and Mike Zimmer is obviously going to be tasked with getting the best out of him. Zimmer needs to get Smith playing more of the 1-tech position and maybe less of the 3-tech position where he looked so uncomfortable this past season.

You have to be patient with the development of young players, but the Cowboys really need instant contributions from Smith and if neither Quinn nor Zimmer can get that out of him, he will undoubtedly be treading thin ice.