Cowboys News: Deuce Vaughn honors unwritten franchise rule, Chris Vaughn on putting the team first

Oct 22, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats running back Deuce Vaughn (22) runs for
Oct 22, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats running back Deuce Vaughn (22) runs for / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys produced the most wholesome and unforgettable moment of the 2023 NFL Draft when assistant scouting director Chris Vaughn made the call to his son, Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn, that Dallas drafted him with the No. 212 overall pick in the sixth round.

Vaughn repped the No. 22 jersey with pride in Manhattan. He finished his Wildcats career as the school's leader in receptions and receiving yards by a running back. He also ranks second in career rushing yards and 100 yard-rushing games, and third in all-purpose yards.

In 2022, Vaughn led the FBS with 1,936 all-purpose yards, was the only player with over 1,500 rushing yards and 350 receiving yards and ranked eighth nationally in total rushing yards.

With all that in mind, you'd understand if Vaughn wanted to rep No. 22 with the Cowboys. The only problem? Emmitt Smith donned that number long before Vaughn and went on to have one of the greatest careers of any back in NFL history.

The Cowboys don't officially retire jersey numbers, but it's understood Smith's No. 22 is untouchable. Vaughn is well aware of this and told reporters Tuesday he'll be switching to No. 42 out of respect for the Hall of Fame running back.

Cowboys' Deuce Vaughn changes jersey number out of respect for Emmitt Smith

This is an awesome gesture from Vaughn. Forty-two admittedly is an uncharacteristic number for a running back, but it's a perfect fit for the former Wildcat.

As for the rest of Dallas' rookie class, here's what their numbers look like:

Mazi Smith -58
Luke Schoonmaker - 86
DeMarvion Overshown - 35
Junior Fehoko - 93
Asim Richards - 76
Eric Scott. Jr - 37
Jalen Brooks - 83

Getting back to Vaughn, it couldn't have been easy for Chris Vaughn to recuse himself from the draft room whenever the team discussed his son. As much as Vaughn wanted to campaign for Deuce, he incredibly put the team first.

“The dad in you wants to say, 'Hey, my son’s the highest-rated guy on the board right now. Why aren’t we considering him at this pick?'", Vaughn told SI's Albert Breer. "The professional in you, is like, 'We want what’s best for this organization.' ”

During the Cowboys' first set of draft meetings in December, Will McClay and director of college scouting Mitch LaPoint informed Vaughn he wouldn't grade his son. Vaughn obliged without any resistance.

“I wrote over 350 evaluations on college players in this draft. I did not write one on him. I never did an official report on him. Did all his teammates at Kansas State. They got drafted yesterday. I evaluated all those kids, but that was our organizational decision to not have me do it. … I thought that was good.”

Just incredible professionalism demonstrated by Vaughn. This has the potential to be the best story in the NFL if Vaughn becomes a weapon for Dallas. Even Cowboys haters can't help but acknowledge how amazing it is.

That says it all.

Next. Grading every Cowboys pick from the 2023 NFL Draft . dark