Cowboys Draft 2014: Q & A On Cowboys Draftee Will Smith

John Weast

Some information about the new Cowboy from someone who has been watching him for a while.

In my series on the college backgrounds of the 2014 draftees of the Dallas Cowboys, I have gotten some information on Will Smith out of Texas Tech. Seth Jungman of Viva The Matadors was kind enough to answer my questions.

1. The Cowboys play a 4-3. What defense did Kliff Kingsbury's Red Raiders run? (Notice how the Aggie posed the question there to get Kingsbury some props.)

The somewhat humorous part about your question is that Kingsbury has no problem saying that it's not his defense, that the defense is run by Matt Wallerstedt. Not an attempt to shirk any responsibility, but I think Kingsbury recognizes that offense is his strength, but Wallerstedt is the guy that runs that defense.  So, Wallerstedt's defense is a one-gap 3-4 defense and to come full circle, Wallerstedt was at Texas A&M the year before last and I think Texas A&M ran a similar defense when Wallerstedt was there and was the co-defensive coordinator.

2. How do you see Will Smith fitting into the Dallas D (Will, Mike or Sam)?

At Texas Tech, Smith was the weakside linebacker and was actually one of the bigger linebackers on the team at 220.  I could see Smith playing outside in a 4-3 scheme.  He's too light to play inside and it would make more sense to see him play outside.

3. What are his strengths, and do you see any weaknesses he needs to overcome?

I think his size will be problematic at the next level. He can't really take on blockers and tends to get moved pretty easily when he's engaged with an offensive lineman.  There are times that I think he could do a better job of taking better angles.  Athletically, he's got a lot of room to grow and I think his frame will let him add on additional weight, but he's really going to have to work in that area.  He is gifted with straight line speed and that's his biggest attribute athletically.

(Note: KD noted in his weekly podcast - which I hope you listened to - that Smith has been assigned a safety's number. That may be worth remembering in light of this information.)

4. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is big on the attitude and approach his players bring, focusing on his "Right Kind of Guy" profile of players who love the game and will work their butts off for the team. Give your take on how Smith fits that profile, and what kind of a player he was in the locker room, please.

Yes, Smith is a good kid. He's a hard worker.  We asked him what it meant to him to be a Red Raider and he said that it's about being a hard worker, athletically and in the classroom ( http://www.vivathematadors.com/2014/3/26/5546572/texas-tech-linebacker-will-smith-talks-about-his-pro-day-the-nfl-and ).  Compete every day. I know its cliche, but it's something that we take pride in as fans and even though Smith was only at Texas Tech for a couple of years, it's good that he took on that hard-working attitude with him.  One more bit about Smith is that he was originally recruited by Tommy Tuberville and Tuberville was at Riverside C.C. checking out another player and noticed Smith's tape.  Tuberville wanted to talk to Smith and offered him a scholarship pretty much on the spot.  When Smith tells that story, he's pretty grateful about the opportunity and he knew he needed to take advantage of his opportunity.  I think he did.

5. Seriously, how bad were the jokes and puns based on his name?

Of all things, fans didn't give him a hard time and the marketing department very much could have done more, but they didn't. Smith isn't a huge personality or flashy, so it never really fit him to make light of it.

Thanks again, Seth.

Follow me @TomRyleBTB
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