(Editor's Note: With the offseason program in the rearview mirror, it's time to look ahead. As part of the preparation for training camp, this series will introduce 25 key players who are new to the Cowboys' roster, rookies and veterans alike. The series continues today with wide receiver Brandon Smith.)
How He Got Here: One of the more experienced wide receivers in the country over the course of his career with the Hawkeyes, Brandon Smith certainly looked the part of a future pro. Production was prominent for Iowa's second-leading receiver behind recent Vikings draft pick Ihmir Smith-Marsette, as Smith tallied 91 career receptions for over a thousand yards and nine touchdowns in 39 games. However, injuries and a Covid-shortened 2020 derailed what could have been an even more impressive college career and a better overall draft stock. His junior year, the best statistical season of his tenure, was cut four games short due to a right knee injury and kept him for challenging Smith-Marsette for the top receiver spot in the Hawkeyes program.
What's Next: When the Cowboys front office looked at the type of player they wanted to use in upgrading the wide receiver depth, length was a huge factor. Smith has just that with a top five wingspan and arm length in the rookie class of 2021. Standing at over 6-foot-1 and 218-pounds, the Mississippi native isn't the most imposing figure on the field, but his catch radius is tremendous with an 81.5-inch spread. His size will play an intriguing factor of both fit and untapped potential when training camp rolls around. He'll be directly competing with players like Noah Brown, Semi Fehoko, T.J. Vasher, and Brandan Eagles for the fourth or fifth wide receiver spot on the roster and a key contributor in special teams.
Bet You Didn't Know: Smith comes from quite the lineage as both his parents, Tyjauna and Roy, were collegiate track stars in their day while his sister, Brianna, won a Mississippi state championship as a sprinter. Keeping with the family tradition, Brandon cemented his name in the athletic history of the Smith family by breaking Mississippi high school state records for career receptions (206), receiving yards (3,672) and touchdowns (41). Despite his success, he was only awarded a three-star ranking and two 'power five' offers before committing to Iowa. Oh yeah, and he owns a full-grown pet python named Rufus.