The Dallas Cowboys released Ezekiel Elliott and allowed him to sign with the New England Patriots. One rookie is proving that it was the right decision.
After another early playoff exit, the Dallas Cowboys opted to make some changes. While there is a new offensive coordinator in Brian Schottenheimer and a new wide receiver in Brandin Cooks, the Cowboys opted to move on from one of their prominent players on offense — running back Ezekiel Elliott. The team opted to release Elliott from his contract, who had remained on the open market for the better part of a couple of months until he signed a one-year offer from the New England Patriots.
The Cowboys were always going to have Tony Pollard start for them this upcoming season, especially with how he played last year. But any chances of the team bringing back Elliott as the backup turned to dust after the team saw rookie Deuce Vaughn play for them so far.
Recently, Vaughn received first-team reps during training camp practices. After his preseason debut, those first-team reps continued on Tuesday, as ESPN’s Ed Werder pointed out.
Cowboys: The emergence of Deuce Vaughn shows Dallas didn’t need Ezekiel Elliott anymore
The selection of Vaughn was a feel-good story of the 2023 NFL Draft, as his father, Chris Vaughn, is the assistant director of college scouting and had been a scout with the team since 2017. Vaughn wasn’t drafted high in the draft, falling to the sixth round. While those will point to his 5-foot-6 height, you can see that he is one of the quickest and shiftiest running backs in the rookie class.
During his three years at Kansas State, Vaughn ran for 3,604 yards and 34 touchdowns on 651 carries, while catching 116 passes for 1,280 yards and nine touchdowns.
This past Saturday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Vaughn led the team in carries with eight, taking them for 50 yards and a touchdown. Just take a look at some of the plays that Vaughn made, and how he put defenders on ice skates.
One thing that you can say about the Cowboys, is that they know how to draft. Finding Vaughn in the fifth round looks to be an early “Steal of the NFL Draft” candidate, but only if he keeps it up.