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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CB Eric Scott (R6, Pick 178): F

Nine picks after taking Richards, the Cowboys turned to address their defense by taking Eric Scott out of Southern Miss. In fact, Dallas even traded a 2024 fourth-round pick to the Kansas City Chiefs to move up to select the Basehor, KS native.

Even though the Cowboys liked enough about Scott to move up to draft him, the 25-year-old cornerback didn't see a single second of playing time during the regular season. He was inactive for all 17 games as he struggled to prove that he was deserving of playing time in a year that Dallas lost star CB Trevon Diggs to an ACL tear.

After going without any playing time as a rookie, it's safe to say that the deck is stacked against Scott ahead of Year 2. If he can't even prove that he deserves special teams snaps here and there, his time in the Lone Star State may end as quickly as it started.

RB Deuce Vaughn (R6, Pick 212): C

Cowboys fans couldn't wait to see what Deuce Vaughn could do following an impressive training camp and exhibition run. Even though he isn't the biggest running back, he still made an impact with 64 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on 13 carries across two preseason games. The showing was good enough to land him on the initial 53-man roster.

Preseason success doesn't always bleed into the regular season, though, and Vaughn was an example of that. He only suited up in seven games during his rookie year, turning 23 carries into 40 rushing yards while catching all seven of his targets for another 40 yards.

Although sixth-round prospects don't normally ball out in Year 1, 1.7 yards per carry is extremely underwhelming.

Time will tell if Vaughn can carve out a bigger role for himself this fall. The rest of Dallas' RB room currently consists of Rico Dowdle, Royce Freeman, Malik Davis, and Snoop Conner, so there's certainly an opportunity for him to move up the depth chart.

The potential is there. Vaughn just has to show it.

WR Jalen Brooks (R7, Pick 244): C-

Jalen Brooks' rookie season was mixed, to say the least. The seventh-round wideout didn't see that much playing time, only yielding 77 offensive snaps across seven games while spending the rest of the year inactive.

At the same time, you typically don't expect more opportunities than that for a last-round selection. Besides, Brooks did make the most of his opportunities, catching all six of his targets for 64 yards and four first downs. It wasn't the most eye-popping performance but it did show that he could potentially be a rotational contributor down the line.

With CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, and Jalen Tolbert occupying Dallas' top three WR spots, Brooks will likely compete with KaVontae Turpin for the WR4 spot. Considering how Brooks nearly matched Turpin's 2023 production despite playing nine fewer games, the former's outlook looks promising.

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