3 major takeaways from Cowboys preseason loss to Seahawks

  • A young defender shines 
  • Is the RB2 battle settled? 
  • Struggles looming for touted rookie? 
Dallas Cowboys v Seattle Seahawks
Dallas Cowboys v Seattle Seahawks / Tom Hauck/GettyImages
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1. Mazi Smith's impact in year one might not be profound

Saturday night was one to forget for Smith, who was routinely driven off the ball. The 2023 first-round pick acknowledged that he's working to become faster off the ball, but his footwork and balance let him down against the Seahawks, largely because he was late off the snap.

That's a death sentence for a first-year interior defender, and Smith ended up on his backside on multiple snaps as a result. This allowed Seattle's offensive line to creative massive running lanes and they rushed 31 times as a team for 141 yards (4.3 YPC) and two touchdowns.

Smith himself was at fault for a big run from Zach Charbonnet.

The Michigan product is a physical specimen and might be the strongest player on the roster, but he's learning he can't solely rely on strength to plug gaps. He's only going to improve with more reps, but fans should probably temper expectations for the touted first-rounder, especially early in the season.

It's important to remember that DTs don't always translate quickly. There's no reason to panic, but Saturday's loss proved that Smith is experiencing growing pains and it might take some time before he becomes the impact defender many pegged him to be once he was drafted.

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