Dallas Cowboys 2023 Draft Review: Putting Faith in Dak Prescott and Building a Strong Defense

2023-05-01 20:15:43

Contrary to what many anticipated, the Dallas Cowboys they didn’t use a single one of their eight 2023 NFL Draft picks on a quarterback, which means Jerry Jones is putting his faith in him. Dak Prescott.

In March 2021, Dak signed a four-year, $160 million contract extension, which includes a $126 million guaranteed and a no-trade clause for the controversial quarterback.

Prescott’s median salary is $42 million a year. for the first three seasons and the contract expires in 2025.

Prescott is the undisputed starter in Dallas, with Cooper Rush and Will Grier as backups. In five starts in 2022 (when Prescott injured his right hand), Rush went 4-1 with 58% shooting, five touchdown passes and three interceptions.

The 2023 Draft offered an interesting deck of quarterbacks, but the Cowboys preferred to stick with what they currently have on the roster.

“There were definitely some guys we really liked,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said. “But, as I recall, each one of these young men, all eight of them, were the highest qualified.”

Goodbye Zeke; hello vaughn

After cutting to Ezekiel Elliottthe Cowboys needed to draft a running back to pair with Tony Pollardand the chosen one was Deuce Vaughnde Kansas State.

At 5-foot-1, Vaughn is one of the smallest running backs drafted, but height takes second place when he’s on the field. In his three years with the Wildcats, averaged 5.5 yards per attempt and scored 34 touchdowns by land, including 18 in 2021.

Vaughn, the son of Chris Vaughn, assistant director of scouting in Dallas, is an elusive and dynamic running back who will make an interesting pairing with Pollard in the Cowboys’ backfield.

Who should not lose track of is Hunter Luepke, fullback from North Dakota State, signed after the Draft. Luepke is versatile and can do it all, so now it’s up to the imagination of the Cowboys coaching staff to get the most out of this All American.

Wide receivers y tight ends

The new wide receivers triplet in the Dallas air attack was made up of CeeDee LambMichael Gallup y Brandin Cookswho was obtained in free agency.

However, the tight end position needed more depth after the loss of Dalton Schultz, now in Houston.

Luke Cleaner, from Michigan, was the fifth tight end selected in the 2023 Draft and the Cowboys’ second-round pick (58th overall). He was a backup for virtually his entire college career with the Wolverines, but an injury to starter Erick All gave him a chance to show his potential in 2022, with 35 receptions, 418 yards and three touchdowns.

“I think this is a great tight ends class,” McCarthy noted. “We recognize that, but I think everyone has specific skills that they bring to the table. What I really like about Luke is that he is very, very well rounded.”

Schoonmaker will fight for the starting job in training camp with Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot, but he’s already the favorite to be TE1 in Dallas’ offense.

Mazi from a to the D

The Cowboys re-signed safety Donovan Wilson, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins. Also, they made a trade with the Indianapolis Colts to get the cornerback Stephon Gilmorewho will pair up with Trevon Diggs.

Dallas used its first pick in the 2023 Draft -pick 26- at nose tackle Know Smithprojected as a starter from Day 1 for his ability against the run game, an area where the Cowboys need to improve.

With the presence of Micah Parsons, Dallas’ front-7 is one of the best when it comes to rushing the quarterback, but the star’s team allowed a worrying average of 129.3 rushing yards per game. With Mazi Smith as the new anchor of Dan Quinn’s 3-4 defense, that number should improve dramatically. Or at least that’s what the Cowboys hope.

“When you go through postseason evaluation, it was clear that we wanted to improve our defense against the run,” McCarthy added. “It was a focal point. One of our many strengths, we get the ball away and rush the passer. We just want to get better on the first downs.”

Watch out for DeMarvion

In the third round, Dallas used the 90th overall pick to draft linebacker DeMarvion Overshownfrom the University of Texas, one of the most exciting picks in the Class of 2023.

Since 2020, Overshown has become the leader of the Longhorns’ defense after a couple of seasons in which he played safety. His last season was his best, with 49 tackles, 10 for loss, four quarterback sacks and five pass defenses.

Overshown will start training camp behind Damone Clark on the Cowboys’ depth chart, but Quinn could use him, initially, in obvious passing situations, on the opposite side of Parsons.

And that sounds like a nightmare for quarterbacks.

Before selecting Vaughn, the Cowboys they traded for the first pick of the sixth round to pick cornerback Eric Scott Jr., from Southern Miss.

Dallas’ last pick in the 2023 Draft was South Carolina wide receiver Jalen Brooks in the seventh round.


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