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2023 Cowboys rookie report: Brandon Aubrey sets a career best in win over Rams

Brandon Aubrey has been the best rookie on the Dallas Cowboys this season.

Los Angeles Rams v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Cowboys dominated the Rams on Sunday, a welcome sight coming out of the bye week. While there were plenty of things to love about what the team showed Sunday, there wasn’t much to look at with regards to this rookie class. Let’s take a look at each rookie’s performance this week.

iDL Mazi Smith

The Cowboys pretty much stuck to their usual workload for Mazi Smith, giving him 29% of the defensive snaps on Sunday. That snap share was third among interior defenders, just ahead of both Chauncey Golston and Neville Gallimore. He continued to rotate with Johnathan Hankins on running downs, with Hankins getting the larger workload for obvious reasons.

Smith looked solid in his limited snaps, though. He registered a tackle and a run stop while failing to record a pressure in his mere three true pass rush reps. Again, it’s a thankless role that Smith is filling for the Cowboys, but he’s doing the job that is asked of him.

TE Luke Schoonmaker

Luke Schoonmaker saw his biggest workload in terms of routes run on Sunday, though it still only resulted in one target. Schoonmaker played on 25 offensive snaps, with 11 of those being routes for the tight end to run. He had just one target, but it was a catch for 13 yards, with all of those yards coming after the catch.

Schoonmaker once again put up good work as a blocker. But after very limited exposure to running routes so far in his rookie season, it was encouraging to see him get more work Sunday. The targets will come in due time, but this was a solid step forward.

LB DeMarvion Overshown

DeMarvion Overshown tore his ACL in the preseason and is on the injured reserve for the year.

EDGE Viliami Fehoko

Viliami Fehoko was inactive for this game.

OL Asim Richards

Asim Richards found himself an active participant when Tyron Smith was made inactive. Initially, it meant just field goal work for him, but Richards did see the field at left tackle when Chuma Edoga went down late in the game. Richards finished the game at left tackle, with 11 total snaps, giving up one pressure in his five pass blocking reps.

Richards has been inactive most of the year thus far, and this was the first time he saw offensive snaps in a different context than the Cowboys pulling their starters in a blowout, though that happened later on in this one. Depending on the health status of both Smith and Edoga, Richards could be in line for a big role next week in Philadelphia.

CB Eric Scott Jr.

Eric Scott Jr. was inactive for this game.

RB Deuce Vaughn

Deuce Vaughn was inactive for this game.

WR Jalen Brooks

Jalen Brooks was inactive for this game.

G T.J. Bass

T.J. Bass was seeing his usual load of work on the kicking unit, but he got in the game on offense late with a big lead. Playing nine snaps at right guard, Bass yielded zero pressures in his three pass blocking reps.

FB Hunter Luepke

Hunter Luepke continued to see a steady role on offense. He played on six offensive snaps, with five of them coming at fullback; curiously, the one other snap saw Luepke lined up in the slot. Luepke also saw a target come his way late in the game, courtesy of Cooper Rush. While Luepke did make the catch, it went for a loss of two.

Luepke also had a few big blocks on special teams, springing KaVontae Turpin free for two big returns. One of those returns was negated due to a holding call on Nahshon Wright, but Luepke’s strong work should not go unnoticed.

K Brandon Aubrey

Brandon Aubrey remains perfect on field goals for the year, adding two on Sunday while also connecting on all five extra points. Aubrey set a new personal best, too, when he hit a 58-yard field goal on the Cowboys’ second drive of the day. Not only was it his career long, but Aubrey sent the kick right down the middle and had plenty of room to spare.

Aubrey remains one of just three kickers with at least 12 field goal attempts to still be perfect on the year. And his 58-yard field goal ranks fifth among longest made field goals so far this season. His 18 straight field goals made to start a career tied an NFL record. The rookie kicker just keeps proving himself each week.

LB Tyrus Wheat

Tyrus Wheat, in his second NFL game ever, saw a big workload on special teams. His 21 special teams snaps tied for second-most on the team, and Wheat was on the field for that big punt block that Sam Williams had.

Wheat also briefly saw time on defense, with just three snaps, late in the game when Dallas pulled most of their starters. It’s still very early for Wheat’s time on the roster, but he’s showing that he can handle the workload.

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