There was no shortage of players Dallas Cowboys fans watched closely in the team's preseason opener against the Jaguars. Mazi Smith, DeMarvion Overshown and Jalen Tolbert were among that group, but no player drew more excitement leading up to the game than Deuce Vaughn.
With Malik Davis drawing the start and Rico Dowdle working as the secondary back, Vaughn waited until the second half to get his first carry.
While the 2023 sixth-round pick faced the Jaguars' second- and third-stringers, his performance showed what Cowboys fans knew all along: Despite his small stature, Vaughn's football skills are worthy of NFL playing time.
Vaughn spearheaded Dallas' second half comeback with a marvelous third quarter. He ripped multiple impressive runs, including a 26-yarder that got the offense into scoring range and he finished that drive off with a touchdown.
It was a dream debut for the 5-foot-5 back, but Chris Towers of CBS Sports isn't sold on the performance since it came against Jacksonville's backups.
CBS writer has contrarian take on Cowboys' Deuce Vaughn after stellar game vs Jaguars
Social media timelines were filled with Vaughn praise, so it's only fitting that one member of NFL media took the contrarian route.
While Vaughn did most (or all) of his damage against the Jaguars second-team defense, did he not face "real NFL players" at the college level?
The Big 12 isn't know for producing defensive juggernauts, but Vaughn rushed for 100 yards in nine of 14 games last season, including against Alabama in the College Football Playoff when he rushed 133 yards and a TD on 6.0 yards per carry.
Do we really need to explain how many NFL players take the field for the Crimson Tide every Saturday solely on the defensive side of the ball?
Further, Towers is assuming there wasn't a single rotation player on the field for Jacksonville in the second half. Surely Vaughn didn't face solely reserve players and players destined to end up on the practice squad.
Why not give credit where it's due? NFL starters or not, Vaughn's jump cuts and ability to make defenders miss in the open field were on full display Saturday. He's also been tricky to tackle at Cowboys training camp.
The last time we checked, Dallas boasts one of the league's elite defenses.
Nobody's saying Vaughn is going to be a roaring success in the NFL based off Saturday's performance, but Towers taking the contrarian route following a genuinely awesome performance is beyond ridiculous.
As if the players the Jaguars rolled out there aren't world-class athletes and have no business being in consideration for an NFL roster.
What an awful take.