Jake Ferguson's sophomore leap shows Cowboys blew it in 2023 NFL Draft

Los Angeles Rams v Dallas Cowboys
Los Angeles Rams v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys offense has turned the corner of late and a big reason for that is the uptick in volume for CeeDee Lamb. While Lamb is the key to unlocking the Cowboys offense, it's no surprise Dak Prescott enjoyed his best game of the season in Week 8 given how much tight end Jake Ferguson was involved.

Quiet in the previous two games, Ferguson caught all four targets for 47 yards and a touchdown against the LA Rams.

Incredibly, Prescott's last incompletion to Ferguson came in the fourth quarter of the Cardinals loss, per Bobby Belt of 105.3 The Fan. Since then (four games and 17 quarters of football), they've connected on 15 straight targets for 167 yards and a touchdown, including a 7-catch, 77-yard effort vs the Patriots in Week 4.

Ferguson believers -- you won't find many Ferguson "doubters" in the fanbase -- expected the Wisconsin product to make a leap in year two. Despite being high on Ferg, the Cowboys still went ahead and took Luke Schoonmaker with the No. 58 overall pick in this year's draft.

That decision has not aged well.

Do the Cowboys regret drafting Luke Schoonmaker amid Jake Ferguson's breakout season?

It's unlikely the Cowboys drafted Schoonmaker thinking he would eventually replace or become an upgrade to Ferguson. The value of having two athletic and capable tight ends on rookie deals shouldn't be understated, but folks are right to question if Dallas made the right call drafting Schoonmaker in round two.

Nobody would bat an eyelash if the Cowboys ended up with Dalton Kincaid, who's finally breaking out for the Bills, or Sam LaPorta, who went No. 34 overall to the Lions and already has 43 catches for 434 yards and four touchdowns. Conversely, Schoonmaker (who's three years older than LaPorta) has two catches for 14 yards and a TD.

Schoonmaker turned 25 in September, so it's fair to question his upside. He flashed his athleticism and YAC ability on his 13-yard catch-and-run against the Rams on Sunday, but two catches for less than 20 yards? For a second-rounder?

Steelers rookie Darnell Washington -- clearly a development project -- has one catch for 10 yards and went 35 picks later than Schoonmaker. He also turned 22 in August.

Florida offensive lineman O'Cyrus Torrence, Michigan corner DJ Turner, Houston receiver Tank Dell, Tulane RB Tyjae Spears and Texas A&M RB De'Von Achane are just some of the impact players the Cowboys could have drafted at No. 58.

We'll gladly take egg on our face if Schoonmaker morphs into an impact player, but that likely isn't to happen until 2024 at the earliest. Regardless, doubling up on a non-premium position when Ferguson was poised to fill Dalton Schultz's TE1 shoes is a questionable use of resources for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

More from Our Site:

Next. Luke Schoonmaker . Frustrated Cowboys fans react to Luke Schoonmaker pick. dark