NFL

Dallas Cowboys Draft Picks 2023 – Grades for America’s Team

Dallas Cowboys Draft Picks 2023 – Grades for America’s Team
Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI/ABACAPRESS.COM - Photo by Icon Sport

The wait is over for Cowboys fans to see who would become the newest player to don the star of America’s team on their helmet. With the 26th pick in the first round, Dallas selected Mazi Smith, a defensive tackle out of the University of Michigan.

During round two, the franchise used its No. 58 overall pick on tight end Luke Schoonmaker out of Michigan. A round later, they drafted linebacker DeMarvion Overshown from the University of Texas.

Check this page after each round of the draft, as it will be updated with grades on every pick.

Cowboys Draft Picks 2023

Dallas has six more picks remaining in the draft.

First-round pick (26th): Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan

  • Position: Nose Tackle
  • Age: 21
  • Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
  • Class: R-Junior
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 323 lbs
  • Arm: 33 3/4”
  • Hands: 9 ¾” 
  • Wingspan: 80 7/8”
  • 40-yard dash: 4.85 seconds

The Cowboys filled the void at defensive tackle with Smith’s selection. Last year, Dallas ranked 12th in total defense (330.2 yards allowed per game).

Against the pass, the secondary performed well, giving up just 200.9 passing yards per contest, but it was the unit’s run defense that struggled. Dan Quinn’s defense gave up 129.3 rush yards per outing (22nd in the league).

Smith is a 6-foot-3 nose tackle who can play all three downs. Under Quinn’s guidance, he can potentially become a solid player in the league and make a difference. 

During the combine, Smith received an athleticism score of 90, ranking him second among all defensive tackles. His total score of 77 put him as the third-best prospect at the position.

College Career

At Michigan, Smith became a starter in 2021 and started all 14 games. During that span, he earned the accolade of honorable mention All-Big Ten and recorded 37 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and four pass breakups. 

A year later, he was named to the All-Big Ten first team and had 48 tackles, including 2.5 TFLs.

Cowboys First Round Draft Grade: B

Fans don’t often light up or cheer when they see a tackle being drafted, but Smith does help patch up an area in need.

There were other players rated higher available for the Cowboys to take, including Michael Mayer (TE, Notre Dame), Nolan Smith (OLB, Georgia) and Joey Porter Jr. (CB, Penn State).

Team owner Jerry Jones said Smith was 13th or 14th on the draft board, so they were happy to take him.

Cowboys draft picks out of the first round have performed well over the last few years (CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons), so only time will tell if the organization located another diamond in the rough.

Second Round: Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan

Grade: B+

Addressing the need at tight end was crucial for the Cowboys. Although, it’s tough that they missed out on other top tight-end prospects.

The 6-foot-5 tight end was the eighth-best tight end prospect in the draft and received a 76 rating at the combine. His 6.36 grade deems him an “eventual starter”. Other options such as Kincaid, Mayer or Musgrave could’ve been day-one starters and produced immediately.

If Jones and the front office were so keen on a tight end they should’ve taken one in the first round or traded up during round two.

The 24-year-old started 10 games in 2021 and recorded 17 receptions for 165 yards and three touchdowns en route to All-Big Ten honorable mention. A year later, he started 11 games and boosted his production with 35 catches for 418 yards and three scores.

Third Round: DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas

Grade: C+

Dallas was in need of depth at linebacker, especially with Leighton Vander Esch’s proven injury history. Overshown received a 73 total score at the combine putting him No. 9 at the position.

In his senior year as a Longhorn, the 6-foot-3 playmaker earned first-team All-Big 12 honors after recording 96 tackles, 10 TFLs and five pass breakups.

It’ll take some time for the former safety to continue building his craft at linebacker, but he has all the tools to eventually become a solid backup or starter.

Rounds 4-7

Round 4 (129) —Viliami Fehoko Jr., DE, San Jose State

Round 5 (169, compensatory) — Asim Richards, OT, North Carolina

Round 6 (178, from Bears through Dolphins and Chiefs) — Eric Scott, CB, Southern Miss

Round 6 (212, compensatory) — Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State

Round 7 (244) — Jalen Brooks, WR, South Carolina

What to expect this season

Dallas is the seventh favorite to win the Super Bowl at 16/1 odds on William Hill Sportsbook. The Cowboys put together another impressive regular season (12-5) but were eliminated for the second year in a row by the 49ers in the Wildcard round.

The franchise has a solid roster led by its impressive defense but will need improved play from Prescott in the playoffs and a better run defense to make a deep playoff run. Michael Gallup will need to perform better as the team’s No. 2 target on offense and a talent at tight end will have to emerge to make life easier for Prescott.


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