4 Cowboys whose stock has plummeted after OTAs and minicamp

Which Cowboys players need to bounce back at training camp?
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Training camp is an opportunity for unknown or unheralded players to step up, but it can also be a time for certain guys to bounce back after maybe having a rough go during OTAs/minicamp, or in some cases -- not participating at all. There are a number of Dallas Cowboys players who will be under tremendous pressure once training camp opens up, but there are some players who are now going to have to overcome their stock potentially being down.

Which players on the Cowboys' roster are on notice after seeing their stock go down during OTAs and minicamp? Let's take a look at a handful of names.

4 Cowboys whose stock is plummeting after spring workouts

1. Israel Mukuamu, DB

Even without the pads on, there might have been some shifting going on with the Dallas Cowboys depth chart in the secondary during OTAs and minicamp. According to Nick Harris and Mickey Spagnola of the team's official website, the prognosis after OTAs for Mukuamu is...not good.

"Israel Mukuamu didn't get any significant burn last season and he was working almost exclusively with the reserve defense when the team split during OTAs and minicamp earlier this month. For context, guys like Juanyeh Thomas, Markquese Bell and even rookie Caelen Carson were all getting some run with the first team on the other side of the field."

Nick Harris, DallasCowboys.com

"Well, here is the deal on Izzy. Chances are now with Mike Zimmer as the defensive e coordinator, he plans on using more three true linebackers on the field in his 4-3 instead of a big safety masquerading as a linebacker..."

Mickey Spagnola


It doesn't sound good for Mukuamu if he's already losing reps to a rookie fifth-round pick, and not even before the end of OTAs and minicamp. He's trending toward being cut or traded before the regular season starts.

2. Luke Schoonmaker, TE

Not to bring this up again, but the Cowboys could have just drafted Sam LaPorta last year. Moving on from that, Luke Schoonmaker is in the headlines for the wrong reasons again as of OTAs/minicamp, this time due to injury.

Schoonmaker is dealing with a hamstring issue, which can be extremely tricky, especially for big guys like this. From our own Jerry Trotta:

"Schoonmaker's absence allowed more opportunities for promising second-year man Princeton Fant, who took a ton of first-team reps, and touted undrafted free agent Brevyn Spann-Ford."

Jerry Trotta

You have to keep hope alive for someone like Schoonmaker, who was a 2nd-round pick last year. At the same time, the emergence of Jake Ferguson and a strong camp from Princeton Fant makes you wonder just how long the leash actually is for someone like Schoonmaker. How much is his draft status going to matter if other guys are playing well?

You obviously want to see him get out on the field, but don't be shocked if he's buried on the depth chart at the beginning of training camp.

3. Deuce Vaughn, RB

There's nothing wrong with experimentation during the offseason, but given the Cowboys' apparent lack of depth at the running back position, the attempt to move Deuce Vaughn to the slot receiver position at OTAs is a little concerning, to say the least.

Maybe there's nothing to see here. Maybe this is more exciting than anything else. But the Cowboys were rotating a number of other players, including 2023 undrafted fullback Hunter Luepke, with the 1st-team offense at running back...and not Deuce Vaughn. The former Kansas State star could simply be adding to his résumé but it seems more likely the Cowboys are trying to justify keeping him any way they possibly can.

4. Cooper Rush, QB

If there was a pie chart showing all of the offseason talk about the Cowboys' quarterback position, it would probably be about 85 percent surrounding Dak Prescott and his contract situation, 15 percent on the progression of Trey Lance, and absolutely nothing about Cooper Rush.

Maybe that's a good thing.

But the potential emergence of Trey Lance isn't great news for Cooper Rush because the Cowboys might be able to move on from him and save over $2 million on the salary cap. Rush has been a quality backup for Dallas but if they're serious about Trey Lance, then they need to ramp up his practice reps during the week, and Rush -- 31 years old this season -- deserves a shot to be someone else's backup.

The latest Cowboys news and analysis