Hindsight is always 20/20, and it can unfortunately help you paint a picture of why things went wrong when you get beat by the 7th seed in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs. For the Dallas Cowboys, hindsight is pretty brutal when you look back at the 2023 offseason.
Although the Cowboys made a number of really good moves that led to a successful regular season, there were also a number of huge misses that stand out as potential reasons this team's season ended prematurely.
What moves could we consider the worst roster decisions by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2023 offseason? Let's take a look.
1. Drafting Mazi Smith over Sam LaPorta
This decision haunts every Dallas Cowboys fan, there's no doubt about it. The Cowboys were clearly in the market for tight ends early on in the 2023 NFL Draft as they used a second-round pick on Michigan's Luke Schoonmaker, but Dallas got caught up in an obvious NFL Draft mistake:
Drafting for need instead of value.
The Detroit Lions landed Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta with one of their second-round selections, and there had been some buzz in the lead-up to the Draft that LaPorta could go in the first round. After his rookie season, we're seeing why NFL teams were high on him, just not high enough.
LaPorta was one of the biggest difference makers in this year's rookie class, catching 86 passes for 889 yards and a whopping 10 touchdowns.
Mazi Smith was playing out of position in 2023 (when he was actually playing, that is) while LaPorta was absolutely thriving. Jake Ferguson had a good year in Dallas, so all is not lost at tight end, but LaPorta looks like a special player.