Cowboys react to 2023 draft class: ‘We’re excited’

The Cowboys had a plan for this year’s draft and, after its conclusion, feel they achieved all of their goals and then some, including an emotional father/son moment.

Frisco, Texas – The 2023 NFL Draft is officially over and the Dallas Cowboys have walked away with a slew of talent they believe will/can instantly improve their roster for the 2023 season and beyond. However, their work is far from done, as they turn their attention to undrafted free agency – where they’ve arguably been the best in the league, lately – but, first, they’re closing the book on the draft itself.

Sitting with the 26th overall pick on Day 1, there was rampant speculation over where the Cowboys might look first, but, given the wealth of talent that should be available from Round 2 through Round 4, it there was no way of knowing how the first night would go.

Thoughts of the Cowboys taking a tight end in the first round would be doused in icy water when they instead gave the nod to Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith, an explosive defensive addition to the roster.

Here’s how the rest of the three-day event went for the Cowboys:

  • Round 1, No. 26: Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
  • Round 2, No. 58: Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan
  • Round 3, No. 90: DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas
  • Round 4, No. 129: Viliami Fehoko, EDGE, San Jose St.
  • Round 5, No. 169: Asim Richards, OL, North Carolina
  • Round 6: No. 178: Eric Scott, BC, Miss South*
  • Round 6, No. 212: Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas St.
  • Round 7, #244: Jalen Brooks, WR, South Carolina

*acquired by trade with the Chiefs in exchange for the 2024 fifth-round pick

So how do the Cowboys think they fared overall?

“We are very pleased and motivated with our draft class,” said executive vice president and director of player personnel Stephen Jones. “At the end of the day, I think we accomplished [just] about everything we wanted to do and there’s no doubt that we improved our football team.”

Of course, the draft isn’t really over when it’s over, and that’s because the undrafted free agency frenzy immediately began in what is essentially a mad dash of 32 teams to try and scoop up prospects. the most coveted who did not hear their name spoken during the draft.

It’s something the Cowboys look forward to all the time, and just as much as the draft itself.

“We’re still doing something that we feel is almost as important as the draft — college free agents right now,” Jones added. “From all the reports we’re getting, it’s going very well too. Overall, I think we hit all the bases throughout the draft and, like I said, I think we have a successful college free agency as we speak. It’s overall a success.

The highlight of the whole event wasn’t really a choice per se, though. This was rooted in the profound impact of Vaughn’s selection, given that his father, Chris, is a highly respected and talented scout within the organization who never once attempted to use his position at the within the team to direct the front office and management staff to his son.

Full-throttle film, production, and electric capability achieved that goal for the old Wildcat.

An emotional moment in the War Room was followed by the realization of the exceptional value of having Vaughn, a talent the Cowboys had as the highest-rated player still on the board when they went on the clock to 212th in the total, really is; in what can only be described as the perfect storm of valor, need and family.

As the Cowboys wrap up their undrafted free agency over the next few days and rookies begin packing for minicamp in mid-May, everyone in the building feels good about the likelihood of bringing a 12-5 back-to-back team on another level — one they think may be the potential rain dance for their long Super Bowl drought.

For the incoming class of 2023, the real work begins now.

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