Cowboys combine meetings are bad news for recent draft disappointment

Is a recent Cowboys draft pick already on the hot seat?
Aug 20, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (left) and chief
Aug 20, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (left) and chief / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

To say the Dallas Cowboys need an improved showing in the NFL Draft would be a colossal understatement. The 2023 class obviously isn't to blame for the Cowboys' playoff loss, but they made eight selections and essentially got zero production from the entire group.

In fairness, third-round pick DeMarvion Overshown was seemingly headed for a significant role amid a strong training camp and preseason. His ACL injury put Dallas in a bind at linebacker and it caught up to the team in the playoffs.

Usually good for at least one home run pick in every draft, the Cowboys (so far) came out of last year's showcase without so much as a double. The Luke Schoonmaker pick seemed redundant and wasteful at the time and that proved true as Jake Ferguson cemented himself as one of the best young TEs in the game.

Don't expect the Cowboys to select another tight end this year, but linebacker and defensive tackle are certainly on the table. That's no indictment on Overshown, obviously, but first-round pick Mazi Smith could enter year two on the hot seat based on Dallas' combine meetings.

Cowboys combine meetings hint Mazi Smith is already on the hot seat

The Cowboys reportedly had formal meetings with several top interior defensive linemen, including Texas phenom T'Vondre Sweat, Texas A&M's McKinnley Jackson, LSU's Maason Smith, Michigan's Kris Jenkins and Clemson's Ruke Orhorhoro.

They also had informal meetings with multiple DTs, including Miami's Leonard Taylor III, Duke's Dewayne Carter, Iowa's Logan Lee and Georgia's Zion Logue. Here's the full list, via Nick Harris of DallasCowboys dot com.

That's a lot of defensive tackles folks.

Sweat is obviously the dream pick. He's arguably the top nose tackle in the class. It's unlikely, however, that the Cowboys select a DT in the first round two years in a row. Most mock drafts have Sweat coming off the board in the second round, but it's wishful thinking that he'll be available when Dallas picks at No. 56 overall.

If Sweat is available in round two, the Cowboys should run the card to the podium, but the point remains: this is all bad news for Mazi Smith.

Assuming Smith puts on weight and morphs back into the nose tackle he was at Michigan, he'll become the run-stopping space-eater everyone thought the team drafted. With that said, Dallas essentially wasted Smith's rookie year by asking him to lose weight. The Michigan product played a lowly 304 snaps.

Nobody's writing Smith off, but the pressure on the young DT is cranked up several notches with the Cowboys meeting with some of the top IDL prospects in this class. Luckily, odds are Smith recognizes the importance of the upcoming season.

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