Watch Cowboys draft room’s process for landing on Mazi Smith

Atlanta Falcons, College Football, Dallas Cowboys, Michigan, NFL Draft

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Check out the Dallas Cowboys’ war room decide on Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith over Syracuse offensive lineman Matthew Bergeron in real time.

The Dallas Cowboys made a tremendous draft pick in the first round by taking star defensive tackle Mazi Smith out of Michigan.

For a team that was picking in the 20s, Dallas hit it out of the park with this selection. Smith was an outstanding player for Jim Harbaugh, particularly over the last two seasons for the Wolverines. With his ability to take on extra blockers, that means Dallas star linebacker Micah Parsons will eat more than Ezekiel Elliott ever did in a Cowboys uniform. This was a savvy pick, but a debated one.

Here is a video clip of vice president of player personnel Will McClay convincing Jerry Jones that Smith is the guy to go with over a well-thought-of offensive linemen in Matthew Bergeron out of Syracuse. Jones loved both of these players when they came in for top-30s, but McClay assured him they would not be able to get a defensive tackle this good this late. It was the tipping point.

This clip makes me feel very good about my Atlanta Falcons trading up to get Bergeron early in the second round on Friday evening.

Watch Dallas Cowboys choose Mazi Smith over Matthew Bergeron in first round

There is a lot to like about this clip for many reasons. One, I appreciate the transparency of the war room discussions among the front-office executives of this NFC contender. I am certain their fans feel the same way, too. Two, I think there is a sense of unity and continuity between coaching staff, ownership and front office. And three, they have an amazing team and this feels calculated.

The Cowboys didn’t panic and had a methodology in how they went about navigating the first round. I love how head coach Mike McCarthy said either one of these players will make their team better instantaneously. The great part in this is you feel like as a casual observer that they identified the trenches as an area where they needed to get better. They just did that with Smith.

Overall, you need to make the most of your opportunities when picking in the latter portion of each round. Dumb teams ahead of you will make mistakes, but you have to know what you’re looking for and have a plan of attack. Over the years, Dallas has drafted exceedingly well. Their issue has been overpaying good players great contracts once they are a few years into the league.

For now, Smith can play a big part in the Dallas defense staying strong under Dan Quinn’s watch.

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