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ESPN says the Cowboys got one 'steal' in their 2023 draft class

There are only so many bargains a team can make when a majority of their selections are proprietary picks.
Credit: AP
FILE - Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn (22) carries the ball against Texas during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. Vaughn was selected to The Associated Press All-America team released Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann, File)

DALLAS — The value for the Dallas Cowboys' 2023 draft class was pretty much expected. There are only so many bargains a team can make when a majority of their selections are proprietary picks, and the Cowboys had a total of seven picks at the start of the draft anyway.

According to Matt Miller from ESPN, the Cowboys were able to procure a "steal" in the draft. Enter sixth-round running back Deuce Vaughn from Kansas State. While much attention was given to Vaughn for landing with his father's team — where Chris Vaughn is the assistant director of college scouting. Dallas nonetheless had a need in their running back stable following the departure of All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott.

"Vaughn is an electric inside-outside runner with great hands out of the backfield," Miller wrote. "The Cowboys don't have a proven RB2 behind Tony Pollard, so there's room for the rookie to get real touches."

Miller had Vaughn ranked No. 87 among his 100 steals of the 2023 draft. Originally the 5’-5”, 179-pound running back was the 250th-best player on Vaughn's big board. The Cowboys grabbed the former Wildcat with the No. 212 overall pick in Round 6.

The Cowboys had Vaughn highly ranked on their big board throughout the draft, but it wasn't until after selecting cornerback Eric Scott with the 178th overall pick in Round 6 that Dallas started to really consider Vaughn.

"We had 30, 35 picks between Scott and when we picked and that was when probably the heavy discussions, which we always do, kind of now that we picked who’s in the mix now," executive vice president Stephen Jones said after the draft on April 29. "That’s when we kind of started breaking off and having discussions that weren’t in the bigger room and were

outstanding discussions with our offensive coaches, with our scouts, with obviously [vice president of player personnel] Will (McClay) leading the way there from that standpoint. With [coach] Mike (McCarthy) and [offensive coordinator] (Brian) Schottenheimer and their vision for him and how he compared to other players that he was going to be put up against in terms of who else would be in the mix there at that pick.”

Vaughn generated 293 carries for 1,558 yards and nine touchdowns while catching 42 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns in his final 14 games for Kansas State last season.

Do you think Deuce Vaughn will be a success at the pro level? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.

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