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2023 Cowboys rookie report: Brandon Aubrey is (still) perfect

We have seen some solid production lately out of the Cowboys rookies.

Seattle Seahawks v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The Cowboys are enjoying their mini-bye week after a very hard fought win over the Seahawks on Thursday night. This was a game in which several huge performances were necessary to get it done in the end. However, there weren’t too many rookies who figured into the equation. In fact, few of them even suited up for this game. Let’s break it down.

iDL Mazi Smith

Mazi Smith was curiously absent for much of this game. After seeing a general increase in his snap shares each of the last three games, Smith only played on 11 snaps against Seattle, tying the lowest snap total of his season. The snap rate, a meager 19%, is also the lowest he’s seen this year.

Unsurprisingly, Smith did very little in his very few snaps. He finished without a tackle or a pressure, but much of that is due to how little he played. Perhaps this was a matchup-based decision, as the Seahawks are a fairly pass-heavy team that uses a ton of play-action; or perhaps it was a stamina issue, as this is Smith’s first time playing three games in 12 days. Whatever the reason, it was a quiet night for the rookie.

TE Luke Schoonmaker

In many ways, this was the Jake Ferguson game and rightfully so. But a sneaky storyline is how the Cowboys continue to get Luke Schoonmaker more involved in the passing game. He played on 25 offensive snaps Thursday and caught his lone target, tallying 12 yards and a first down.

That marks Schoonmaker’s sixth straight game with at least one target, and the two games prior to Thursday night saw him with two targets each. Schoonmaker wasn’t really seeing much use in the passing game prior to the bye, but his role has expanded since even as Ferguson keeps making his claim as one of the better tight ends in the league.

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 is on the injured reserve.

OL Asim Richards

Asim Richards was inactive for this game.

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

As expected in such a close game, the only time T.J. Bass saw the field was on special teams, blocking for Brandon Aubrey’s seven kicks on the night.

FB Hunter Luepke

Hunter Luepke continues to be a big part of this offense’s plans, even if he’s not actually touching the ball. He played on 11 offensive snaps, his most in a game since scoring a touchdown against the Patriots in Week 4. Most of his snaps came as a traditional fullback, but Luepke also logged one snap out wide as a receiver, blocking for a screen.

The Cowboys have made it clear that they value Luepke’s versatility, and they’ve used him in a variety of ways already this year. He’s not going to get featured a ton with all the other weapons, but his role is what it is because he keeps doing the dirty work. Luepke also logged 15 special teams snaps, as he’s become an integral part of the kick and punt coverage units.

K Brandon Aubrey

Brandon Aubrey just keeps making kicks. He connected on four field goals Thursday night, all within 40 yards, and extended his streak and NFL record to start a career to 26 straight made field goals. He also connected on all three of his extra points, a good sign after missing two in the last two games.

Aubrey is one of just two kickers across the league to not miss a field goal so far this year. The only other kicker is Harrison Butker of the Chiefs, who has hit all 20 of his attempts this year.

LB Tyrus Wheat

Similar to Luepke, Tyrus Wheat is a core part of this special teams unit, and he logged 15 snaps there on Thursday. He’s quickly become one of John Fassel’s favorites, despite not seeing any action on defense in this one.

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