6 Dallas Cowboys on Thin Ice Following OTAs

Which Cowboys players are on thin ice in the month of June?
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
5 of 6

5. Mazi Smith, DL

In addition to calling a good defense, one of the biggest responsibilities of new defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer in the 2024 offseason is going to be "fixing" 2023 first-round pick Mazi Smith.

Smith went from being the freak among freaks at Michigan — a 330-plus-pound Tasmanian Devil on the interior defensive line — to not doing much at all in his rookie season with Dallas. The Cowboys thought they could have Smith drop weight and play more of a 3T position on the interior defensive line instead of wreaking havoc at the 0T or 1T positions where he became a first-round player at Michigan.

This year, they've got him back up at his Michigan weight, and Zimmer has been working to get Smith involved in ways that highlight his strengths.

Go figure.

Still, Smith remains on thin ice because the Dallas Cowboys need young players to step up on this defense after the departure of Dan Quinn and so many other key contributors on last year's unit. The Cowboys have had virtually no "misses" in the first round of the NFL Draft in recent years, so Smith also has a historical trend to uphold.

Again, not many of the players on this list are on thin ice in terms of their roster status, but the team's need for them to perform right away.