3 biggest Cowboys surprises at the halfway point of 2023 season

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2. Markquese Bell

The Cowboys might have found another undrafted gem in hybrid safety Markquese Bell. He didn't get drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft but found a home in Dallas soon after.

Bell didn't see much playing time in his rookie season, playing just five games in 2022. He totaled only one tackle in his entire rookie campaign. However, the former Texas A&M product is finally getting to show his potential with the Cowboys.

In a crowded safety group that features Donovan Wilson, Jayron Kearse, and Malik Hooker, Bell never had a path to play much. But, following Leighton Vander Esch's neck injury earlier this season, that changed.

Dallas decided to move Bell to linebacker for the time being, where he has really excelled over the past few weeks. He has been a difference-maker for the Cowboys in the middle of the field, and you can see that.

Bell is consistently making plays for the Cowboys and has given the defense a big boost at the linebacker position while Vander Esch is out. Through eight games, he has 41 tackles (28 solo) and one tackle for loss.

Over the past three games from Week 6 to Week 9, Bell has totaled at least six tackles in every contest. His snap share has also increased during that span too -- from 53% to 73% to 94%. His 58 snaps against the Eagles in Week 9 were also a career-high.

It remains to be seen what will happen to the 24-year-old if/when Vander Esch returns. Either way, though, Bell has earned his playing time.