ARLINGTON— The 2023 NFL Draft has come to an end and the Dallas Cowboys added plenty of new faces to the defense.
After three days of selecting future NFL hopefuls, the draft is complete, and the Dallas Cowboys really address their run defense and the rushing offense.
The players the Cowboys selected are:
- Mazi Smith- DT- Michigan
- Luke Schoonmaker- TE- Michigan
- DeMarvion Overshown- LB- Texas
- Viliami “Junior” Fehoko- DE- San Jose State
- Asim Richards- OT/G- North Carolina
- Eric Scott Jr.- CB- Southern Miss
- Deuce Vaughn- RB- Kansas State
- Jalen Brooks- WR- South Carolina
First domino to drop was at the one tech/nose tackle position with Mazi Smith, a defensive tackle out of Michigan who probably won’t light up the stat sheet but will make the other guys around him better. His strength might be his biggest attribute and there are videos of him lifting 800 pounds on a twist machine. Smith was a team captain and was the Michigan Defensive Player of the Year last season.
Onto day two, the Cowboys made two selections in Schoonmaker at 58 and DeMarvion Overshown at 90.
Schoonmaker is a do-everything tight end and really can block very well. The Cowboys will line him up all over the offense. He is an older player and will be 25 at the beginning of the season but the Cowboys value the versatility and his athleticism.
Overshown will play on defense and special teams for the Cowboys. He is a converted safety who can move sideline to sideline. Not only can he run but he can blitz and doesn’t hold anything back when making contact. With Micah Parsons moving all over the place, OVershown should get his shot at linebacker early as the Cowboys were sort of thin at the position.
On day three, the Cowboys made five selections after trading a future fifth-round pick to get back into the sixth round of this draft and selected Viliami Fehoko, Asim Richards, Eric Scott Jr, Deuce Vaughn, and Jalen Brooks.
Fehoko lived in opponent’s backfields with 47 tackles for loss and 23 sacks over his college career at San Jose State. Last season, he went off for 19 tackles for loss and nine sacks. He has incredible hands and a relentless motor. The Cowboys will see how he looks at the three-tech position. They’ve done similar with Chauncey Golston. Either way, Fehoko will be part of the Cowboys rotation.
Asim Richards was a left tackle at North Carolina. He has a basketball background and could get a shot at guard in the NFL. He played over 1,000 snaps and is durable, something the Cowboys will need at tackle with Tyron Smith injury history and Terrence Steele recovering. Richards could be a valuable swing tackle.
Eric Scott Jr. is a long, athletic cornerback, which Dan Quinn loves. He is a physical corner and will come up and actually tackle the ball carrier. He had a 39.5” vertical and an 11’1” broad jump and is athletic. He is always around the football and just love the game.
One of the coolest moments in the draft came with the Cowboy’s very next pick of Deuce Vaughn from Kansas State. Vaughn’s father, Chris Vaughn, works for the Cowboys as a scout and was in the draft room when Dallas made the selection. Chris acutally made the phone call to tell his son the Cowboys were going to draft him.
Vaughn is a fun player and was electric at Kansas State. Standing at only 5’5”. 180 lbs., he is the smallest player but played every game the last three years, so he is durable. His size will always be an issue, but he brings playmaking ability similar to current Cowboy running back Tony Pollard. In 2021, he led the Big 12 in all-purpose yards with 1,872 and last season left the FBS with 1, 936 yards. Also, he can catch out of the backfield and is a leader.
Vaughn also shows up against adversity. Here are his stats from last season with the opponent, number of carries, yards, and touchdowns in order.
- South Dakota- 18-126- 1
- Missouri- 24-145- 2
- Tulane- 20-81-0
- Oklahoma- 25-116-0
- Texas Tech- 23-170-0
- Iowa State- 10-23-0
- TCU- 12-83-1
- Oklahoma State- 22-158-1
- Texas- 19-73-0
- Baylor- 25-106-0
- West Virginia- 22-67-1
- Kansas- 25-147-1
- TCU- 26-130-1
- Alabama- 22-133-1
The Cowboys finished the draft with Jalen Brooks, a wide receiver from South Carolina. Brooks is a 6’1’ receiver and can come down with 50/50 balls. In his best season at SCAR, he had 33 receptions for 504 yards and two touchdowns. He won’t be asked to come in a start as Ceedee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, and Michael Gallup hold it down, but he can push second-year receiever Jalen Tolbert, who was a healthy scratch for much of last season, and Simi Fehoko, another draft pick from 2021.
While the draft may be over, teams are now looking to scoop up undrafted free agents and the Cowboys so far have added:
- Hunter Kuepke- FB- North Dakota State
- Tyrus Wheat- OLB- Mississippi State
- Isaiah Land- DE- Florida A&M
- David Durden- WR- West Florida
- Earl Bostick Jr.- OT- Kansas
- Princton Fant- TE- Tennessee
- Jalen Moreno-Cropper- WR- Frenso State
- Jose Barbon- WR- Temple
- T.J. Bass- OT- Oregon
- Durrell Johnson- OLB- Liberty
The Cowboys have had tremendous luck when it comes to undrafted free agents in the past. Tight end Payton Hendershot, running back Malik Davis, offensive tackle Terrence Steele, tight end Sean McKeon are currently on the team and going way back in wide receivers like Miles Austin and Cole Beasley and offensive tackle La’El Collins.
Remember the Cowboys Top-30 visits list? Four of their eight picks were visits, Mazi Smith, DeMarvion Overshown, Viliami Fehoko, and Eric Scott. Durrell Johnson, while an UDFA, was also on the list. The Cowboys had a formal visit with Luke Schoonmaker at the combine and Deuce Vaughn’s dad works for the team.
Did the Cowboys get better over the weekend?