The Dallas Cowboys concluded rookie minicamp yesterday. For many young players, it marks the beginning of their NFL story, their first organized activity on an NFL team, and their first opportunity to show their coaches what they can do. For the coaches, they’re able to see if the young players can apply what they’ve learned and apply it on the field.
Dallas hosted 29 players for their on-field rookie minicamp. Some are completely new to the team, and others were with the club in some capacity last season. Here are a few players to to not forget about as we springboard into minicamp and training camp.
Honorable mention: Earl Bostick, OT, Kansas (UDFA 2023)
Earl Bostick was picked up by the Cowboys after the draft, but the team isn’t writing him off as an afterthought. The Cowboys gave Bostick a deal with $200,000 guaranteed. The former All-Big 12 honorable mention has Josh Ball and Matt Waletzko ahead of him on the depth chart. Bostick is a converted tight end with good athleticism for his size. If Bostick can make an impression on the coaching staff by handling his own against the primary and secondary edge rushers on the defense, it would go a long to help him make the team.
Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State (R6 Draft Pick, 2023)
The only draft pick on this list, Deuce Vaughn should have more extended time on the field once we arrive at training camp. Vaughn’s selection by the Cowboys was one of the most touching moments of the draft with father, Chris, tearfully asking how his son would feel about coming to work with him. Well, the real work is about to begin.
Vaughn walks into a crowded running back room that features Tony Pollard, Malik Davis, who has potential, and former first-round draft pick Ronald Jones. In the early onset of the preseason, Vaughn will see a bigger workload and have a chance to prove he can not only run the football but also pass protect. Vaughn undoubtedly is going to be one of the most intriguing storylines of the summer.
Alec Lindstrom, C, Boston College (UDFA 2022)
Alec Lindstrom stuck around as an undrafted free agent last season and held a spot on the practice squad. The Cowboys didn’t invest any premium draft capital on centers and that leaves the door open for Lindstrom to compete for an expanded role with Matt Farniok cross-training at guard and center.
Fellow undrafted free agent Brock Hoffman is also in the mix. However, if Lindstrom can separate himself from the competition, it could be the start of something more. Starting center Tyler Biadasz is entering a contract year and isn’t a lock to receive an extension. Pay close attention to Lindstrom over the next few months.
David Durden, WR, West Florida (UDFA 2023)
Dubbed the most overlooked football prospect per The Athletic under the alias “Prospect X”, Durden is an interesting prospect. He was once a member of the Boston Red Sox farm system, before returning to play football at West Florida. In his final year, he caught 54 passes for 1,128 yards and 13 touchdowns. Where Durden looks to contribute early on is on special teams.
He has returned punts before and can play the gunner position if asked to. He also had a 95-yard kickoff return for a score in 2018 while playing for Mercer. Durden has developed a reputation for his work ethic, and he’s got the physical traits to match. Durden ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash, also a 37-inch vertical jump to go along with a 10-foot-7 broad jump. He is almost assured to make a few flashy plays to turn heads.