Cowboys Rumors: Dallas denied AFC contender that tried stealing Mazi Smith

Penn State v Michigan
Penn State v Michigan / Aaron J. Thornton/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys surprised fans with the selection of Mazi Smith. They executed a textbook tight end smokescreen leading up to draft night, though it's worth pondering if Dalton Kincaid would have been the pick if the BUffalo BIlls didn't jump one spot ahead of them to take the dynamic pass-catcher.

Regardless, the Cowboys clearly had Smith ranked highly on their big board.

Numerous fans are furious Dallas took the Michigan defender as high as they did. One scroll through Twitter was all it took to see folks campaigning for the team to draft surprise fallers Nolan Smith or Joey Porter Jr., or trade back later in the first round or out of the first round entirely.

Surely, no other team had thoughts of drafting a DT. Why not acquire an additional second- or third-round pick and still get your guy?

Maybe because Smith wouldn't have been there.

Per Patrik Walker of, Dallas inquired about moving down to No. 31 overall in a trade with the Chiefs. The only issue? Kansas City had Smith in their crosshairs. Once that info was disclosed, the Cowboys pulled out of talks.

Cowboys rejected potential trade down with Chiefs, who wanted Mazi Smith

Can we give the front office a little bit of credit here? The Chiefs are one of the gold standard organizations in the NFL and viewed Smith as a first-round player. Positional value shouldn't matter for contending teams, and the Cowboys plugged the biggest hole on their roster by taking Smith.

Say what you will about drafting the best player available, but maybe Dallas had real reservations about Smith and Porter Jr.

The same fans annoyed with the Smith pick likely would've been complaining had the team drafted a tight end in the first round. Could you imagine the outrage if Oregon State's Luke Musgrave or Iowa's Sam LaPorta was the pick?

Lo and behold, Musgrave and LaPorta are still on the board. As is Notre Dame's Michael Mayer, whom multiple experts pegged as a first-round lock, largely to the Cowboys. They couldn't justify coming out of the draft without a nose tackle and they just so happened to get the top player in the class at the position.

In 2022, Dallas ranked 22nd in rushing yards allowed per game and 21st in rushing yards before contact per rush. The team's defensive tackles also ranked near the bottom of the league in run stop win rate. That's where Smith's thrives.

During the first round, reports leaked that both the Raiders (No. 38 overall) and Chiefs (No. 31 overall)called about moving up to No. 26. The Cowboys likely would've got a decent haul for either pick -- especially Las Vegas' -- but they decided to hold firm and get their guy, whom Dan Quinn and Micah Parsons are huge fans of.

If nothing else, Walker's report cements our conviction in the pick.

Did Parsons-Quinn exchange influence Mazi Smith pick? . dark. Next