Mazie Smith update: The Michigan product showed off his outstanding physical attributes but showed some technical shortcomings.
• Get this guy a place in the 53-man squad: Cowboys UDFA guard TJ Bass has impressed so much this pre-season that he looks destined for a spot on Dallas’ final 53-man roster.
• The final predictions for the list of 53 players: The Cowboys must cut their roster from 90 to 53 players by Tuesday’s deadline, but who will?
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
the Dallas Cowboys They got their first pre-season win against Las Vegas Raiders On Saturday, he scored a 31-16 Win at AT&T Stadium in a game where the quarterback Duck Prescott Take over play call duties.
Prescott’s playing style was impressive, as his ability to quickly chain his plays led to a quarterback increase Will Greer in a position to succeed. And boy did he do it. The West Virginia product should be commended for his stellar performance after learning his chances of making the roster were nil after being traded to Dallas for Tri Lance Friday. In the end, Greer finished 29 of 35 for 305 yards, two touchdowns and a throw on his way to an impressive passing score of 82.0. He did, at least, get a real chance to join another team’s 53-man roster once he was released by Dallas.
In addition to Grier’s impressive performance, there are other players on the list such as Dontario Drummond, Hunter Lubke And Tyrone Johnson A compilation of great deals. And while none of those three will appear in my final 53-man roster predictions, they each positioned themselves as the Cowboys’ coaching staff.
Without further ado, let’s dive into some of the most important points we learned from Saturday’s game before we look at my final roster prediction.
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Mazie Smith brings out elite talent but still lacks consistency
Smith made a great start to Saturday night’s festivities, making two tackles within his first three snaps. On his first snap against the running back, Smith produced an incredibly impressive play as he reversed the inside offensive line off the shot, enabling him to stay in touch with his own hole and go after the ball carrier, culminating in a tackle all the way up in numbers.
A nose tackle that can align the near hash mark and still tackle close to the numbers on the offside is rare, and that explains why Smith is such a desirable prospect from Michigan. There may only be a few people over 320 pounds who can accomplish this feat.
Mazie Smith takes the center and crushes it, pushing it back two yards on this third play. Although I need the tape to confirm, today seems to have been his best game yet. #Cowboys pic.twitter.com/IhHt418VA4
– Football Scout (@NFLTrenchBattle) August 27, 2023
Additionally, on Smith’s third snap against the running back, he displayed a more traditional nose-handling skill set, knocking center back on third and short to a backfield stop. This is the kind of play most fans expected to see incessantly when Smith was drafted.
In both games, Smith was able to clear the ball quickly with the right footwork, putting him in the perfect position to succeed.
Unfortunately, Smith’s inconsistent play reared its head again, as he lost the integrity of the gap several times over his last three shots against the run. At 6:37 in the second quarter, Smith lined up as a wide three. Once he snapped the ball, he tried to attack the court so aggressively that the Las Vegas right guard was able to easily reach him and clear him of his primary responsibility – the B-gap.
– John Oning (@JohnOwning) August 27, 2023
Then, on his next shot against a running back, Smith aligned himself as a 3-pointer. But this time, he was taken from his primary responsibility in the B gap by a double-team left and right guard tackle. Smith was too slow to take his second step onto the ground, which prevented him from getting his feet firmly on the ground on the point of contact.
In the end, Smith was able to show off his impressive physical skill set, showing why he is such a valuable player while also showing some of the technical shortcomings that could have caused him to struggle early in his career. However, the 320-plus-pound guys with the athleticism and range to make tackles on the other side of the field in one shot before succumbing to an inside offensive lineman at third and shortstop elsewhere don’t just grow on trees.
Smith would be a good guy – he just needs time to develop and gain experience to get there.
TJ Bass, welcome to the list of 53 men
Let’s play a game. In all three preseason games, who is the only Cowboys offensive lineman who doesn’t allow pressure?
If you answered TJ Bass, you’re right, as the Oregon producer has kept a clean sheet across 80 shots on pass protection. In fact, Bass was only twice outperformed in pass protection throughout the pre-season, but neither of them resulted in pressure.
Entering training camp, Bass Roof seemed destined for the practice squad, since he was an undrafted free agent and was buried on the depth chart behind the likes of Matt Farniuk, Brock Hoffman, Josh Paul And Asim Richards; However, it could be said that he surpassed every single one of them in guarding. He was one of the Cowboys’ best offensive linemen per game, especially on pass protection, posting over a 79.0 pass blocking grade per game.
Now, Bass has a real shot at joining the Cowboys’ 53-man roster. And if you ask me, he deserves to do it.
– AA-Rune from 561 (@hitstickmaster2) August 27, 2023
Bass isn’t the strongest Ranger, but he moves smoothly, reaches his targets quickly, and fights his ass off once engaged at the point of attack. In addition, Bass has shown a surprisingly well-developed skill set in pass protection, showing an ability to mix up his strikes and pass combos to keep pass attackers off balance. Furthermore, Bass has done an excellent job working alongside the center and tackling to his left and right, passing tricks and lobs well while displaying great awareness.
With John Stephens Jr. injured, Bass is now named UDFA’s Best Pickup for the Cowboys following the 2023 NFL Draft. The Cowboys would be wise to give him a spot on the 53-man roster to go along with.
Final projection of the 53-man roster
The Cowboys must now turn their attention toward trimming their roster from 90 to 53 players by the 3pm deadline on Tuesday; So, there’s no better time than now to release my definitive prediction for the Cowboys’ 53-man roster.
Please note that the NFL’s rules regarding placing players on injured reserve mean that if the Cowboys want to place a player on injured reserve without subjecting him to waivers and potentially returning him this season, that player must be on the preliminary 53-man roster for a day before going to infrared. In the past, the Cowboys chose to forfeit the long snapper or another special team unlikely to be claimed so they could make this type of roster gymnast a success. This projection of the 53-player roster would be an attempt to predict the roster after roster gymnastics has occurred, meaning that these players will not be included.
running backwards (3)
wide receiver (6)
narrow end (4)
offensive line (9)
line of defense (10)
full back (5)
high school (10)
The biggest differences between this and my previous predictions on the roster are 1) the addition of Lance, for obvious reasons, 2) Bass taking Brock Hoffman’s place after the Oregon product outperformed the Virginia Tech product throughout the preseason, 3) Bell moving to linebacker to help replace the injured overs, 4) Joseph beats Nahshon Wright and Eric Scott Jr. for one of the last spots on the list, 5) Thomas takes the last safety on the list, and finally, 6) Aubrey wins the kicking job.