3 underrated moves the Cowboys made during the 2023 offseason

Aug 4, 2022; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore (left) and head
Aug 4, 2022; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore (left) and head / Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Drafting Mazi Smith at 26th overall

There's no doubt that fans want their favorite teams to select high-profile names in the NFL Draft, especially with their first-round pick. It's exciting when teams draft a player like Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs, Zay Flowers, or Dalton Kincaid.

But it never made sense for the Cowboys to select a playmaker like that. They already have Tony Pollard, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Cooks on offense. They could have drafted Michael Mayer in round one and continued to give Prescott weapons through the air.

Instead, they passed on a playmaker for defensive tackle Mazi Smith, which undoubtedly was the right move.

Smith didn't put up big numbers in college. He had just 48 tackles (2.5 for loss), 0.5 sacks, and one forced fumble in his senior season. Stats don't tell the whole story, though.

His defensive presence helped Michigan become one of the best-run defenses in the nation. In 2022, the Wolverines gave up just 97.9 rush yards per game, fifth fewest in Division I.

Smith will bring a much-needed presence inside for the Cowboys, something they've been lacking for years. Dallas has ranked toward the bottom of the league in rush yards allowed per game -- 22nd last season and 20th in 2021.

The run defense has been the team's kryptonite for a while, and the rookie's arrival will help in that department.

At 6-foot-3, 337 pounds, he has the size to be a menace against the run while also freeing up players like Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence on the edge. Parsons will likely see fewer double teams because of Smith's presence on the line.

Smith is an athletic freak and even made the top spot in Bruce Feldman's "Freak List" for 2022. The pick might not have been "sexy" at the time, but he'll make an immediate impact on day one.