Re-Grading the Cowboys' 2023 Draft Class After Rookie Seasons

It's that time of the year when we can finally re-grade the Dallas Cowboy's 2023 draft class. How did last year's crop of rookies fare?
Re-grading the Dallas Cowboys' 2023 NFL Draft class.
Re-grading the Dallas Cowboys' 2023 NFL Draft class. / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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DE Viliami Fehoko (R4, Pick 129): F

Despite the Cowboys being fairly set when it came to pass rushers, the team decided to draft Viliami Fehoko with their fourth-round selection. While he was an effective defender during his time at San Jose State, racking up 23 sacks across five seasons, he didn't have a fraction of that success as an NFL rookie.

In fact, the former Spartan didn't play at all in Year 1.

Fehoko spent the entirety of the 2023 season on the sidelines, unable to give McCarthy a reason to insert him into the lineup. He spent some time on the injured reserve with a knee issue before being activated in January, meaning it remains to be seen if the issue affects his quest to find more playing time going forward.

Fourth-round picks don't always pan out, but they at least figure out a way to showcase what they can do (good or bad). If Fehoko can't carve himself any playing time in 2024, it's safe to say his time in Big D won't last long.

OL Asim Richards (R5, Pick 169): C-

After his first-ever third-team All-SEC performance in 2022, Asim Richards was drafted 169th overall by the Cowboys last year. He was seen as a versatile tackle-guard hybrid who could fill in wherever Dallas needed him.

Richards went on to play just eight games with the Cowboys, spending most of the year with an inactive designation. Nevertheless, he was fairly average in the playing time that he got. According to Pro Football Focus, the ex-Tar Heel played 60 offensive snaps (24 run, 16 pass) and only allowed one hurry while playing to 63.0 run and 63.9 pass blocking grades.

It's a small sample size, so the jury is still out if Richards can develop into a starter or if he's more likely to be a backup. The Cowboys' O-line does have some holes now that Tyron Smith and Tyler Biadasz left this offseason, meaning Richards has the perfect opportunity to prove his worth.