June 1, 2023

Brighton Journal

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The Cowboys’ deep post-draft graph: where new players can step in and start, offering assists

The Cowboys added eight players to their roster via the draft over the weekend. Four were used on offense and four on defense. Dallas was also in the process of adding several players through undrafted free agency.

The draft pick with the best chance to start is first-round pick DT Mazi Smith and second-round pick TE Luke Schoonmaker. Others are likely to add depth in the near future.

“Obviously, we’re very satisfied and excited about the draft class,” Stephen Jones, the Cowboys’ executive vice president, said Saturday night. “At the end of the day, I think we’ve accomplished everything we wanted to accomplish. There’s no question we’ve made our football team better. We’re still doing something we feel is almost as important as the draft, which is agents without a college. From all the reports we’re getting, it seems like That’s going really well, too. All in all, I think we hit all the bases throughout the draft, and I think we’ve had successful free college agency as we speak. Overall, a success.”

Here’s a look at where the Cowboys depth chart is following the draft. Not every player on the current roster is included in this drop. This group is expected to have the biggest impact in the 2023 season.


Duck Prescott
Cooper Rush
Will Greer

This is the area the Cowboys had talked about addressing prior to the draft, however, they did not add a developmental QB in the draft. “There were definitely some guys that we really liked,” said Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy, “but I think the other thing is also, as I remember, I think every single one of those young men, all eight of them, were the highest-ranked player on the board. The Board Trust was right on the money all three days.

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“I really like the progression of Will Grier. He’s been here the whole time. Cooper obviously gives us that veteran presence and everything, so it’s a very healthy room. Having a quarterback is a little bit more of a challenge in the NFL today than it was.” It was years ago. So all of those things factor in.”

running back

Tony Pollard
Ronald Jones
Malik Davis
Duos Phone
Rico Doodle

This group may not be complete. There was speculation that the Cowboys would handle Ezekiel Elliott’s release by drafting a more physical running back to pair with Pollard. Vaughn is more like Pollard than Elliot. After the draft, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones refused to close the door on bringing Elliott back. “The ship didn’t sail there,” Jones said. “We haven’t made a decision at all. In terms of our interest in Zeke, nothing we’ve done today changes that. I haven’t ruled out Zeke.” Another name to know is Hunter Luepke, a defenseman from North Dakota State who the Cowboys agreed to deal with after the draft. Dane Brugler took the sixth grade in the seventh round with a 6-1 back, 230 lbs.

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wide future

Sir Lamb
Brandine cooks
Michael Gallup
Galen Tolbert
Cavontae Turpin
Galen Brooks

This group is set with its starting trio of Lamb, Cooks and Gallup. But who steps into that spot number 4? The Cowboys would like Tolbert, their third-round pick last year who only caught two passes during his rookie season. Turpin and Brooks come in next, but other names to know include Simi Fiocco, Dennis Houston and possibly some unoccupied free agents like David Durden, Jalen Moreno Cropper and Jose Barbon.

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tight end

Jake Ferguson
Luke Schoonmaker
Peyton Hendershot
Sean McCune

With Dalton Schultz now in Houston, Schoonmaker has been added to the mix. Will he be able to immediately step into the starting role? Cowboys believe this is possible. Will Ferguson and Hendershot take another step in the second seasons? Cowboys also believe that this is possible. Overall, the group doesn’t look any better on paper than it did at the end of the season. But if Schoonmaker proves to be a reliable component of the running and passing game, he could be very powerful.

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offensive line

Counter: Tyrone Smith, Tyler Smith, Terrence Steele, Matt Waltzko, Asim Richards

Protect: Zack Martin, Chuma Eduga, Josh Paul, Matt Varniuk

center: Tyler Biadache, Brooke Hoffman

This will be one of the most interesting combos to watch during training camp. Left guard looked like one of Dallas’ biggest needs entering the draft, but didn’t select an offensive lineman until Richards in Pick 169. One of the most controversial moments in the Cowboys draft is when they selected Schoonmaker in Pick 58 with Florida guard O’Cyrus Torrence still on the blackboard. Torrence was drafted with the next pick by the Bills. If the Cowboys really wanted to get their five best players on the field together, their starting lineup would probably be Tyrone Smith at left tackle, Tyler Smith at left guard, Biadasz at center, Martin at right guard, and Steele at right tackle. But Dallas was reluctant to bring Tyler Smith back inside. His best position is tackle and the Cowboys prefer to keep him there, so much so that there have been discussions about leaving him at left tackle, moving Tyron Smith to right and doing Steele’s job at left guard. Two notable additions after the draft: Offensive guard TJ Bass and offensive tackle Earl Bostick Jr. Brugler were designated renewable players.

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defense line

DE: Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, Dorrance Armstrong, Sam Williams, Dante Fowler, Tuck McKinley

DT: Mazie Smith, Osa Odigizwa, Jonathan Hankins, Quinton Bohana, Neville Gallimore

DL: Chauncey Goulston, William Fyoko

We created a separate group for Golston and Fehoko because they will likely be used on both end and tackle. Overall, this group has improved with the addition of Smith. They were truly one of the better passing units in the league. They needed to get better against running. Smith should be of great help in this area. A notable addition after the draft was Tyrus Wheat. Brugler got a fourth-round score on a Mississippi State edge sneaker.

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full back

Leighton Vander Esch
Damon Clark
DeMarvion Override
Gabriel Cox
Devin Harper
Jefferson owner

If Vander Esch and Clark can stay healthy, they’ll get the bulk of the shots here. But Overhown and Cox have a chance to get into the mix. Both will need help on special teams. Overriding can be a versatile piece that eventually turns into a beginning. Isaiah Land is an undrafted player whose terms the Cowboys agreed to after the draft. Brugler has a #6 ranking on him and a No. 18 ranking among all linebackers in this draft class.

DeMarvion Overshown (Aaron E. Martinez / Austin American-Statesman / USA Today)

Defensive back

CB: Trevon Diggs, Stephon Gilmore, Daron Bland, Jordan Lewis, Kelvin Joseph, Nachshon Wright, Eric Scott Jr.

s: Jaeron Kerse, Donovan Wilson, Malik Hooker, Israel Mokwamo, Marquess Bell, Tyler Coyle, Joanneh Thomas

Everything looks excellent here for 2023. There are a lot of questions after that because of the contracts. Diggs needs a new deal. Gilmore is on a one-year contract only. This is the final year of Lewis’ contract. Same for Kers and Hooker. But for 2023, this group has a chance to be special. They have playmakers in every quality depth and position

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special teams

ST: CJ Goodwin
K: To be determined
P: Brian Unger
Lisa: Trent Sigg

Yes, the 2023 Cowboys kicker is still not on the list. Jerry Jones said after the draft that the Cowboys would “look at a more experienced killer player.” Some of the veteran names available include Robbie Gould, Randy Bullock, Ryan Succop, and Mason Crosby. Jones added, “Obviously we want to come up with the best possible solution, but we didn’t get the right opportunity that we thought we might get into the draft. And we had other priorities when we had the chance to get it. Obviously we took someone else.”

(Top photo by Mazie Smith: Mark J. Rebellas/USA Today)