Cowboys scout emotional as team drafts son

FRISCO, Texas — For a brief moment, Chris Vaughn didn’t know what was going on when Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones asked him to return the team card for his sixth-round pick. After all, direct debits are now automated.

But when his colleagues stood around the draft room and Jones symbolically threw a towel at him as if it were the card, Vaughn realized the team was ready to select his son, Deuce, a Kansas State running back, at No. 212 overall. SATURDAY.

Vaughn, assistant director of college scouting for the Cowboys, had the privilege of calling Deuce with the news.

“Listen, man, do you want to come work with me next week?” Vaughn, his voice cracking, asked his son over video from the team draft room.

“I wouldn’t mind at all,” Deuce replied.

Jones was in more than 30 draft picks as the team’s owner and general manager. He presided over the No. 1 picks overall and a number of top trades.

“I’ve never had such an experience in the draft room. Never,” Jones said.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said, “In 30 years in this league, I’ve never seen anything like it. It was a very special moment.

Prior to the draft, Vaughn, who has been with the Cowboys since 2017, did not file a report on his son. When the Cowboys discussed him in their meetings, he left. He did not want to influence management in any way. Just before the Cowboys were on the clock, Vaughn was starting to lead the team’s undrafted free agent process, and he wasn’t in the draft room.

In a side hallway his son called him and he could tell the emotions of not being selected were starting to affect Deuce. Chris put aside the scout in him and became the father, puffing up his son.

By the time Chris returned to the draft room, Jones, McCarthy, EVP Stephen Jones and VP of Player Personnel Will McClay had decided Deuce would be the pick, but Jerry Jones was discussing other possibilities. with the selection.

“It was like a joke that everyone was involved in except me,” Chris said.

And the emotions poured out once more.

“For me, it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever been part of,” McClay said. “Just to have a guy that we value so much as an employee and for the work that he does and then have so many positive things to say about his son and then watch the tape and see how much of an impact he will have on the pitch, so have this moment to share that, because it’s all about family. When you talk about the Cowboys, you talk about football, you talk about everything else, but you talk about family.

Deuce, who was in Austin, Texas, with his mother, sisters and 50 to 60 other family members and friends, watched the draft, waiting for his chance. He quickly saw the draft room video involving his father.

“Over the last 21 years of my life and seeing him react the way he has, I’m not going to lie,” Deuce said. “He was a tearjerker.”

Deuce said he never asked his father what the Cowboys thought of him.

“I wanted it to happen organically,” he said. “I wanted everything to fall into place like it was okay. And over the past couple of weeks, the biggest thing that we’ve echoed with each other is that I just needed a chance. whatever exactly what a choice. I just needed a chance, a foot in the door. For it to be Dallas, oh man, that’s amazing.

In three years at Kansas State, Deuce rushed for 3,604 yards and 34 touchdowns and received 1,280 yards. In 2022, he led the FBS in all-around yards with 1,936. That included 133 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. But at 5-foot-5 and 179 pounds, his size was a deterrent to some teams.

“You watch him run through the Alabama defense, break his ankles and do things that he’s done, he’ll make you believe in the blink of an eye,” Stephen Jones said.

At running back, the Cowboys have Tony Pollard, who was named to the Pro Bowl last year, playing on the franchise tag and fracturing the ankle he suffered in the playoff loss. against the San Francisco 49ers. They signed Ronald Jones as an unrestricted free agent and also have Malik Davis and Rico Dowdle. Jerry Jones said he wouldn’t rule out the potential return of Ezekiel Elliott, who was released by the team in March.

“I definitely think Deuce can play the normal flow of our offense, first and second downs,” McCarthy said. “I think in stating the obvious in terms of the protection component, we need to work together there, but there are very separate thoughts and situational concepts that I have in mind at the start. Things Randall Cobb type that I have done in the past. Yes, we will definitely have opportunities for him to take advantage of his productivity. I mean he is a dynamic player.

This is something his father has known for some time.

“The ability to make plays in different ways. And again, I want to say that with my evaluator cap,” Chris said. “He can make plays two different ways. He’s demonstrated that. The thing I would say, you don’t necessarily have to play him differently because he’s a smaller guy. His biggest runs were at the indoors, downhills instead of always using I’m not trying to be the coach here when I say that, but what I’m saying is he’s going to come and give it his all.

And the phone call is one he won’t forget.

“It’s the best I’ve ever done,” Chris said, his voice cracking again. “You know, I told someone he was the hardest worker I know, I happen to be his dad. It’s really refreshing to see that’s what this league is all about. made up. Guys you can’t measure up on. That’s what he’s always been. I expect him to be like that when he gets the chance he’s deserved as a player by doing it the right way.”

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