3 Cowboys already on the chopping block as OTAs get underway

Dallas Cowboys, Hunter Luepke
Dallas Cowboys, Hunter Luepke / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Hunter Luepke, Fullback

Easily the most intriguing UDFA from the Cowboys class in 2023 was North Dakota State's Hunter Luepke. A fullback with decent speed and solid route-running skills, Luepke had a shot at being a matchup problem for opposing teams. He was also capable of filling a void on the roster left by the release of Ezekiel Elliott.

With Elliott gone, Tony Pollard was the feature back but wasn't known for his skill as a short-yardage back. Zeke, who had 12 touchdowns in 2022, was a beast in this area so even though releasing him made sense, they needed someone to rise to the challenge as a power back.

The 6-foot-1, 238-pound rookie did well enough in the preseason to earn a roster spot and scored a touchdown in their Week 4 win over the New England Patriots — on the same day they honored Elliott, who was with New England.

Luepke never scored again after this game, however, and finished his rookie campaign with 19 yards on six attempts (3.2 yards per carry). He added 18 yards on three receptions but didn't do enough to prove he should have a spot locked down in 2024. Throw in the re-signing of Elliott and it seems likely that Luepke is released before Week 1, unless he proves he's improved drastically.