Re-grading the Cowboys 2023 NFL Draft class one year later

The Cowboys 2023 draft class still has a lot to prove
Dallas Cowboys, Mazi Smith
Dallas Cowboys, Mazi Smith / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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Round 2, Pick 58: Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan

In Round 2, the Cowboys got themselves in trouble by focusing on what they perceived to be their greatest need — tight end. That itself was a failure on their part since they were unable to judge the talent on their roster accurately.

Jake Ferguson was a fourth-round pick in 2022 and had 19 receptions for 174 yards and two touchdowns while playing behind Dalton Schultz. Teammates such as Dak Prescott were adamant he could be the No. 1 option but the front office decided to protect themselves by taking Luke Schoonmaker in Round 2 after Schultz left in free agency.

In what was one of the more loaded tight end classes, Schoonmaker might have been the largest risk. He was already older than other prospects and will be 26 this season. He was considered an average blocker who struggled to win contested passes and pick up yards after the catch.

Still, Dallas thought he could be a major weapon but that wasn't the case in 2023. Schoonmaker missed time in camp due to injury and finished with just eight receptions for 65 yards and two touchdowns. He was overshadowed by Ferguson who had 71 receptions for 761 yards and five touchdowns.

To throw salt in the wound, the next tight end drafted outplayed him easily. Tucker Kraft from South Dakota State, had 31 receptions for 355 yards and two touchdowns. That was while playing alongside Luke Musgrave, another rookie tight end whom Green Bay took at No. 42. Musgrave added 352 yards and a touchdown on 34 receptions.

Several rookie tight ends excelled in 2023 but Schoonmaker was not one of them. Perhaps he can get better in time — and this is a tough position to master — but after one year, it looks bad.

Grade: D