6 Cowboys Whose Stock Has Fallen Ahead of Training Camp

These 6 Dallas Cowboys have a lot to prove entering 2024 with their stock currently falling.
Dallas Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott
Dallas Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott / Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Mazi Smith, Nose Tackle

Fans were stoked when the Cowboys finally took the defensive tackle position seriously upon the arrival of Mike McCarthy in 2020. During his first season as their head coach, he hired Mike Nolan as his defensive coordinator and while that move didn't impress, they were able to sign Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe.

Suddenly, there were two big bodies for the middle of the defensive line — something they lacked for years. Sadly, McCoy was injured in the offseason and never took a snap for the team. Poe ended up playing in seven games and was released after struggling in each appearance.

This led to the Cowboys going back to the mid-round pick and veteran free agent well until 2023. That's when they used a first-round pick on Mazi Smith from Michigan. The 337-pound nose tackle was taken earlier than expected which might have led to one of the worst decisions ever.

Dan Quinn had Smith drop weight and used him as a 3-tech — perhaps to justify his selection at the end of Round 1. The rookie seemed uncomfortable and hardly made an impact. Thankfully, this experiment is over and new defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer wants the big guy back at his normal weight and playing 1-tech.

The only issue is that no one knows what Smith brings to the table. He's penciled in as the starter and there are no threats to take his job, meaning all the pressure is on his shoulders. There's not much faith that he will be able to get it done as his stock took a hit from a wasted rookie campaign.