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Cowboys draft 2023: RB Deuce Vaughn was highly productive against Power 5 competition

Playing your best against the best is a good thing, and new Cowboy Deuce Vaughn did just that.

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Alabama v Kansas State Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys drafted running back Deuce Vaughn on Saturday, and while the emotional component is heartwarming and riveting, the reality is that they also got themselves one incredible football player.

As the dust settles on this draft class a lot of Cowboys fans will wind up picking Vaughn as their favorite pick of the group, or at least the highest value. Consider that Dane Brugler had Vaughn as a fourth- or fifth-round player, and Dallas got him at the end of the sixth.

Obviously Vaughn’s size is what worked against him in the draft process, but imagining it behind the Dallas Cowboys offensive line is a whole lot of fun. There seems to be a misconception that Vaughn is limited by being a smaller running back but the evidence only suggests the opposite.

Deuce Vaughn played his best last season against the very best

When we talk about prospects we so often refer to things like the tape or certain statistics. Those things obviously hold incredible value and there are also intangibles (Vaughn was a team captain at Kansas State for what it’s worth) that hold different amounts of water.

Something interesting that started to make its way through the Twittersphere after Dallas drafted Deuce was how he performed last season, specifically against Power Five competition. As you can see, he was at his best against the very best.

These are the opponents listed for context (in order): Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Iowa State, TCU, Oklahoma State, Texas, Baylor, WVU, Kansas, TCU, and Alabama.

The performance against Alabama is noted in the tweet, and for good reason, because if you can go off against a Nick Saban defense, then you are clearly somebody worth a lot of value which is part of the overall package involving Vaughn.

Now the other side of this coin is that we are talking about basically all Big 12 teams and they are not exactly known for playing stout defense; however, Vaughn was the obvious weapon to stop within Kansas State’s offense and that he succeeded at the level that he did (despite the apparent physical limitations) is commendable. To get him in the sixth round of all places feels like cheating life.

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