The Dallas Cowboys have kept busy on the roster transaction front this week. Not only are they close to signing old friends La'el Collins and Damien Wilson to the practice squad, but there's suddenly two free agents available who could bolster areas of need in running back Dalvin Cook and nose tackle Isaiah Buggs.
It remains to be seen if the Cowboys will add another RB to complement Tony Pollard and Rico Dowdle, but one thing we do know is that Deuce Vaughn won't have any part in the backfield rotation after Dallas' latest roster shuffle.
On Wednesday, the Cowboys activated rookie DL Viliami "Junior" Fehoko from injured reserve to the 53-man roster. In a corresponding move, the team surprisingly placed Vaughn on injured reserve with an apparent ankle injury.
In light of this news we can't help but wonder if the adored sixth-round pick has played his last snap with the Cowboys.
Has Deuce Vaughn played his last snap with Cowboys after surprisingly going on IR?
Did anybody even know Vaughn was injured? Regardless, he's now out a minimum of four weeks, meaning he won't be available again until the Super Bowl. Even if the Cowboys make it that far, we're hard-pressed to think they'd activate Vaughn given he's been a healthy scratch in numerous games this season.
It's a disheartening fall from grace for the darling of the 2023 draft. He was the highlight of the preseason for the entire NFL. His performances indicated he could pan out in the pros despite his physical limitations. That came against backups, though, and he quickly became an afterthought on the offense.
In total, Vaughn was active for seven games as a rookie. He carried 23 times for 40 yards (1.7 yards per attempt) and added seven catches for 40 yards. After we were told post draft that the Cowboys had a "plan" for Deuce, he was barely active and when he was could only muster 1-4 touches per game, mostly in garbage time.
It's a tough day for the Vaughn truthers, and the Cowboys fans who wanted him to pan out with the team. He's under contract for 2024, but you have to wonder if he'll be outright released in the offseason or fail to make the final roster out of training camp.
Whatever the case, Vaughn's Cowboys future looks very bleak right now. We'll always have the memories he provided in August, but the memories from his first regular season were few and far between to say the least.
Hopefully this isn't the end of one of the NFL's feel-good stories.