4 Cowboys on the hot seat entering 2024 free agency

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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2. DT Mazi Smith

Honest question: Will the Cowboys sign a defensive tackle? At some point Stephen Jones will proclaim that Mazi Smith's second-year leap will lead to a better run defense. Banking on Smith to make that jump after he made a nominal impact as a rookie would be incredibly shortsighted.

That's actually on par with this front office, but we digress.

Even the Joneses have to recognize the personnel at defensive tackle is nowhere near good enough. Osa Odighizuwa is a stud, but he's more adept to rushing the quarterback than clogging up the run game. Meanwhile, Johnathan Hankins and Neville Gallimore are free agents.

The Cowboys need to get Smith back to his Michigan playing weight and position. They converted him to a three-tech DT and it stunted his development. Hopefully, Mike Zimmer sees the light in that regard because Smith's 34.9 run-defense grade was the lowest of any Dallas defender.

Regardless, with all of Cowboys Nation clamoring for a big-ticket DT signing and Dallas to spend a relatively high draft pick on a nose tackle, Smith's seat is scalding hot as free agency kicks off.