Dallas Cowboys 2023 draft grades: The science of the grades, pick by pick

Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Dallas Cowboys trade up and draft CB Eric Scott

When the Dallas Cowboys traded up at the top of the sixth round, they did so targeting a specific player. Southern Miss CB Eric Scott didn’t register on many radars before so his selection took just about everyone by surprise. Rated as the 60th best CB by Dane Brugler, Scott was a reach even by sixth round standards.

But he comes with attractive traits and he was clearly a target. He stood out in the broad jump during testing and the Dallas Cowboys are known to target that specific trait when hunting for DBs.

Value, needs, impact and risk are all concerns.

Grade: D

The Dallas Cowboys select Deuce Vaughn with the 212th pick

Moments in the draft don’t get more special than this. When a Cowboys scout Chris Vaughn was given the chance to turn in his own son’s card, it was movie-quality coolness. While that’s not something we grade, it’s certainly worth discussing.

Deuce Vaughn, 5-foot-5, slid because of his size. But the ultra-productive back ranked highly to scouts so this pick is certainly not short on value (I hate myself for that pun). The Dallas Cowboys need another running back on the roster and he has clear value on the team.

Grade: B

The Dallas Cowboys select WR Jalen Brooks with the 244th pick

Brooks, 6-foot-1, 201 pounds , is a receiver with inside/outside flexibility. But the reason he was drafted likely had more to do with his special teams ability. Brooks is an accomplished special teams player who could claim a gunner spot right out of the gate.

In the final round he doesn’t have an extensive scouting report, lofty expectations and there aren’t many other alternatives.

Grade: 70

Must Read. Cowboys have holes, luckily QB isn't one of them. light

Dallas Cowboys final grade: 78.6 (C+)

As we said earlier, all of these players could be excellent pros. This grading isn’t about predicting how good they’ll be – we leave that to scouting reports.

What this does is measure the things we can fairly assess today (explained on Page 1).