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2023 Cowboys rookie report: Luke Schoonmaker part of unfortunate play vs Eagles

The Cowboys rookies are still mostly struggling except for Brandon Aubrey who made history

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys narrowly lost to the Eagles in what turned out to be a pretty thrilling game all the way around. There were plenty of Cowboys players who turned in great performances, but the rookie class was largely absent in this one. Let’s break it down.

iDL Mazi Smith

Up till now, Mazi Smith has pretty much exclusively rotated as the second interior run defender behind Johnathan Hankins. With the run-oriented Eagles, though, it posed a question as to whether Smith would see an increase of snaps (due to there being more running downs) or a decrease in an effort to rely on the veteran Hankins.

It turned out to be the latter, though to a small degree. Smith played on 19% of the defensive snaps, his lowest snap share of the year. The Cowboys clearly leaned on Hankins, and it largely worked: Philadelphia averaged just 3.3 yards per carry. Fewer snaps for Smith meant fewer chances to make an impact, and it was a quiet night for him as a result.

TE Luke Schoonmaker

You already know where this is going. Luke Schoonmaker only played on 12 snaps in this one, as Dallas used a lot of 11 personnel to spread out the defense, but Schoonmaker will be remembered in this game for one snap. On fourth down at the goal line, Dallas drew up a great rub route that got Schoonmaker open for a touchdown, and he was initially ruled to have scored.

However, replay showed he was an inch short, largely due to him getting tackled before he could even make the catch. So while Schoonmaker did catch his lone target, it went for zero yards, no score, and a turnover on downs. That was the only real action for the tight end in this one, and it’s really unfortunate that it went down the way it did.

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 was active in this game despite both Tyron Smith and Chuma Edoga both being active as well. Richards only played on the three kicks in the game, so a relatively quiet night for him.

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 had the same kind of night as Asim Richards: three snaps, all blocking for Brandon Aubrey’s kicks.

FB Hunter Luepke

Hunter Luepke continued his limited role on offense, playing five snaps with four of them lined up at fullback and one at tight end. There were no carries for Luepke, though he did technically log a target on a broken play that saw Dak Prescott throw at Luepke’s feet to avoid a sack.

Luepke also played on special teams, as he has all year, and came up with a big tackle on Bryan Anger’s first punt of the day. It wasn’t much, but Luepke keeps doing well within his small role.

K Brandon Aubrey

Finally, something to write home about. Brandon Aubrey continued his historic pace in this game. Last week, he tied the record for most consecutive field goals made to start a career, and then Aubrey broke that record against Philadelphia when he drilled a 51-yarder to give Dallas the lead at halftime.

Aubrey had an uneven night, though. He doinked one of his extra points, though it was still good, and immediately followed that up with an illegal kickoff out of bounds that spotted the ball at the 40 for the Eagles. Still, he was perfect on the day and set a record, which is a good day.

LB Tyrus Wheat

Tyrus Wheat appears to have entrenched himself as a core special teamer, with 17 special teams snaps on Sunday. Only five other Cowboys had more in this game, a good indication of the value Wheat is providing.

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