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 6, Pick 178: Eric Scott, Jr., CB, Southern Miss

One of the more frustrating moves in the 2023 Draft for Dallas fans was watching them surrender a fifth-round pick in 2024 to get back into Round 6. It looked worse when they used that selection on Eric Scott, Jr. — a cornerback from Southern Miss who was projected to be undrafted.

Another older rookie, Scott will turn 26 in August and didn't play at all as a rookie. Drafting older prospects who need time to develop isn't a winning strategy. This move looked bad last year and losing the fifth-round pick looks even worse now since they're so thin heading into the 2024 NFL Draft.

Grade: F

Round 6, Pick 212: Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State

It appeared the Cowboys front office redeemed themselves from the Eric Scott pick when they were back on the clock at No. 212. This time, they took Deuce Vaughn from Kansas State — and they went viral for making the selection.

Vaughn received a call from his father, Chris Vaughn, who is a scout for the Cowboys. The elder Vaughn let his son know he would be drafted in a tearjerker moment suitable for Hollywood.

This movie hasn't had its happy ending yet, however. Vaughn couldn't take advantage of a wide-open running back room and finished with 1.7 yards per attempt on 23 carries. In all, he had 30 touches for 80 yards from scrimmage with two first down conversions. Not a great start for the Kansas State product.

Grade: D

Round 7, Pick 244: Jalen Brooks, WR, South Carolina

Seventh-round picks don't typically make the roster but Jalen Brooks defied the odds. He found his way onto the field in seven games and finished with 77 snaps on offense.

His opportunities were limited but he made the most of each one. Brooks caught all six passes thrown his way and finished with 64 yards. He even converted four first downs on those six touches. That might not sound like much but it was far better than what they saw from Jalen Tolbert in his rookie season — and he was a third-round pick. On top of that, he proved to be a capable run blocker from the receiver position.

In a forgettable class, Brooks might prove to be one of their better finds.

Grade: B-

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