The Cowboys were missing their 2023 first-round pick Mazi Smith during Tuesday's training camp practice and his return to the field could depend on what happens with the defensive tackle's visit with the medical staff. Smith is set to undergo a precautionary MRI on his knee after he has been battling tendinitis throughout camp, according to NFL Media.
The phrasing of this MRI as a precautionary measure does leave room for optimism that Smith isn't dealing with anything too serious. That said, Dallas will likely be holding its breath just a bit until they get the results and have his statuses firmed up as they gear up for the preseason.
Smith was the No. 26 overall pick this past spring out of Michigan and is slated to have a sizable role along the Cowboys defensive line. During his final collegiate season, Smith posted 48 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, and a half sack. The 6-foot-3, 337-pounder is expected to bring a physical play style to the Dallas D-line, as evident from his recent comments saying, "I don't even like football. I like hitting people."
The Cowboys begin the preseason on Saturday with an exhibition against the Jaguars at AT&T Stadium. Having Smith healthy and able to participate in that matchup could have been a positive step in getting him ready for the regular season, but if the nose tackle is less than 100% it'd be wise for Dallas to have restraint and ease the talented youngster along.