Cowboys Get Surprise Injury News on Two Young Players

As the NFL offseason continues, the Dallas Cowboyss were handed a couple of surprising injury updates regarding two young players: DT Mazi Smith and TE Luke Schoonmaker.

Cowboys DT Mazi Smith recently underwent shoulder surgery.
Cowboys DT Mazi Smith recently underwent shoulder surgery. / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It's no secret that the Dallas Cowboys' 2023 draft class didn't have much of an impact last season. Defensive tackle Mazi Smith and tight end Luke Schoonmaker were the only Cowboys rookies to appear in all 17 games last season, however, the ex-Michigan duo left much to be desired on the gridiron.

Naturally, Dallas fans are hoping to see more results now that Smith and Schoonmaker have a full NFL season under their belts. However, a surprising injury update regarding the second-year pair could throw a wrench into their development this offseason.

Cowboys News: Mazi Smith Injury Update

The Dallas Morning News' Michael Gehlken reports that defensive tackle Mazi Smith underwent offseason shoulder surgery, per Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy. The former 2023 first-rounder underwent the procedure after the season ended and is expected to be good to go for training camp.

There's no denying that Smith's rookie campaign was somewhat of a bust. Although some DTs take time to develop, it's always disappointing to see a Day 1 pick only recording nine solo tackles with one sack while only playing 28% of defensive snaps across 17 games.

A big part of Smith's uninspiring performance was that the Cowboys staff allegedly encouraged him to lose around 30 pounds. While that was chalked up to being a rumor before, McCarthy did confirm that the 22-year-old "lost some weight" and that the team will "have a better plan" to use him more effectively in 2024.

Smith showed a lot of potential throughout his time with the Wolverines, so hopefully, the Cowboys figure out a way to help him reach his ceiling.

Cowboys News: Luke Schoonmaker Injury Update

In addition to Smith, Luke Schoonmaker also underwent surgery to repair his shoulder, according to Gehlken. Although the second-year tight end's procedure was "more recent" than his fellow ex-Wolverine, he's expected to be ready for training camp, too.

The Cowboys expected Schoonmaker to be a playmaker when they drafted him 58th overall last April, but he couldn't live up to the hype as a rookie. After recording 35 receptions for 418 yards and three touchdowns in his final year at Michigan, the 25-year-old pass-catcher posted a putrid 8-65-2 stat line in his first professional season.

Time will tell if the offseason surgery helps Schoonmaker turn things around going forward. The Cowboys' passing game lacks credible weapons outside of CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, and Jake Ferguson, so it'd be nice if Schoonmaker could elevate his game to give Dak Prescott another receiving threat.

It'd be ideal if Dallas' 2023 draft class steps it up next season to help end the franchise's championship drought. As April nears, the Cowboys are tied for the fifth-best Super Bowl LIX odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

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