The Dallas Cowboys most important late-round rookie in 2023

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys made a handful of intriguing picks on Day 3 of the NFL draft. From Viliami Fehoko in the fourth round to Jalen Brooks in the last round, the Cowboys raised eyebrows (for both good and bad reasons) late in the draft. But what late round rookie pick is on track for the biggest impact?

Which late-round rookie will be the most important in 2023?

One late round rookie stands to make the biggest impact for the Dallas Cowboys in 2023.

Let’s check out the candidates…

Dallas Cowboys Pick 129: Viliami Fehoko

Fehoko is do-it-all blue collar lineman coaches seem to appreciate more than fans. He’s not overly explosive or bendy, but he’s a hard worker who dedicates himself to play the run and the pass equally.

The Dallas Cowboys had too many players just concerned with the pass rush in 2022 and it showed. Fehoko is someone who can play outside and inside and may not post flashy stats, but will serve an important role.

The only issue is, according to reports, he’s supposed to play mostly 3-tech. The Dallas Cowboys asked him to bulk up so his impact as a rookie could be limited.

Dallas Cowboys Pick 169: Asim Richards

Asim Richards is a player the Dallas Cowboys are extremely excited about. He has inside/outside ability and will be tried across the line from the start. All indications are he will be given every chance to compete for the starting LG spot.

But chances are, his contributions will be in Year 2 or 3.

Dallas Cowboys Pick 178: Eric Scott

Eric Scott is someone graders hated but the Dallas Cowboys clearly loved. It’s tough to project him on defense because Dallas is stacked at DB. His rookie impact will be on special teams.

Dallas Cowboys Pick 212: Deuce Vaughn

Of all the players Dallas selected, Vaughn has the coolest highlight reel. Such is the nature of the position. It doesn’t mean he’s going to be the most impactful as a rookie.

Tony Pollard is a lock for the RB1 job and the Cowboys need someone powerful as a complementary player to handle short yardage situations. That’s not Vaughn.

Dallas Cowboys Pick 244: Jalen Brooks

Jalen Brooks will be hard-pressed to make the roster. The South Carolina WR wasn’t very productive in college, only catching 58 balls for 748 yards, in three seasons of work. More importantly, there’s a logjam ahead of him at WR so barring multiple injuries, he’ll have a tough time seeing the field on offense.

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The pick: At the end of the day, Deuce Vaughn is the clear pick. It has nothing to do with his heart-warming story and everything to do with the role he will fall into and Pollard’s expected workload (he’s not a workhorse).

The Cowboys did very little at the RB position this offseason and Vaughn looks like the RB2 or RB3. While that role isn’t enormous it has the ability to be impactful and keeps the Cowboys humming when Pollard is on the sideline.

If the Dallas Cowboys want to run the ball like they say, they’ll need someone other than Pollard to carry the ball.