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Cowboys news: Dallas got ‘most overlooked player in the draft’

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NCAA Football: Mercer at North Carolina James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

‘Most overlooked player in the draft’ hopes to make name with Cowboys as UDFA - Todd Brock, Cowboys Wire

The Cowboys UDFA class may prove very strong.

David Durden’s agent believes that if he’d played at an SEC school, he would have been a Top-100 draft pick. But he didn’t. So he wasn’t.

The 24-year-old receiver from the University of West Florida had to wait until after Mr. Irrelevant got his moment of glory to become a Dallas Cowboy, when the team invited him to sign as an undrafted free agent.

“We’ve had a lot of love for this guy,” Cowboys director of college scouting Mitch LaPoint said, per The Athletic. “We’ve been on David for a long time.”

That the Cowboys knew who Durden was at all could be considered a mild surprise; just a few days before selections began in Kansas City, The Athletic named him “the most overlooked player in the draft.”

In an Apr. 25 piece, Kalyn Kahler painted a vivid 2,500-word picture of Durden without ever identifying him by name. It’s an annual exercise she undertakes- polling pro scouts, tracking pro day workouts, and crunching the tape of NFL hopefuls across the country- to find what she calls “the draft’s best-kept secret.”

Cowboys Won’t Rule Out FA Market for WR Depth - Nick Harris,

Dallas may not be finished at the wide receiver position.

Despite Brandin Cooks being brought in during free agency, the questions around the position grow more complex as you look deeper into the depth chart with players such as Simi Fehoko, Jalen Tolbert, Jalen Brooks and more looking to secure a spot near the top of the chart. For Vice President of Player Personnel Will McClay, there’s an expectation for at least one of those guys to take the necessary step forward.

“We’re always looking to improve,” McClay said. “We feel like we have players on the roster that are improving. We talked about the maturation process of players like Simi [Fehoko], [Jalen] Tolbert. We have guys that have been here for a year and we’re looking for those guys to step up.”

When asked about if the free agency market could be circled back on later this offseason, McClay didn’t rule it out. With names such as T.Y. Hilton, N’Keal Harry and Sammy Watkins still available, the market has value that McClay feels could help the team down the line if the depth on the team doesn’t take the necessary step forward ahead of training camp.

“If there’s an opportunity to do something in free agency, we’ll look at it,” he said. “We feel good about the group [in Dallas] because they’ve been here, they’ve been in the system. They were players that got drafted and didn’t play for the first year, so we’ve gotta speed up that curve there. If we have a problem, we’ll go out and get somebody to continue to try and improve it.”

Dallas Cowboys rookies select new numbers - Fox 4 Staff, Fox News

The incoming Cowboys draft class have picked their jersey numbers.

The Cowboys announced the numbers of players selected in the 2023 NFL Draft on Tuesday.

No. 58: Mazi Smith, DT - Michigan

No. 86: Luke Schoonmaker, TE - Michigan

No. 35: DeMarvion Overshown, LB - Texas

No. 93: Viliami (Junior) Fehoko Jr., DE - San Jose State

No. 76: Asim Richards, OT - North Carolina

No. 37: Eric Scott Jr., CB - Southern Mississippi

No. 42: Deuce Vaughn, RB - Kansas State

No. 83: Jalen Brooks, WR - South Carolina

Versatility Stands Out as Theme for ‘23 Draft Class - Nick Harris,

The Cowboys are bringing in great positional variety from this year’s draft.

The Dallas 2023 draft class was finalized with selection No. 244 on Saturday evening, and with all eight members in the fold, there seem to be a couple of themes jumping out about the class as a whole, but possibly none more than the recent emphasis on finding versatile players in all three phases.

The significance around finding players that can do multiple things has stemmed from Vice President of Player Personnel Will McClay’s ideology of positional versatility, which is something that has been especially driven home since the arrival of Mike McCarthy in 2020.

“Coach McCarthy talks about it all the time – it is doing two things,” McClay said. “When you can find a player that can do two things at a very high level, it is attractive. We are definitely looking at the different ways you can use a player, and the versatility is key.”

NFC East draft grades: Rich Eagles got richer, while Giants found value in need areas - Eric Edholm,

The Dallas Cowboys received an average grade in the latest draft review.

Grade C: Dallas Cowboys: Total picks: 8

The Cowboys hadn’t spent a first-round pick on an interior defensive lineman since Russell Maryland in 1991, and it was fair to wonder — prior to them taking Mazi Smith — just how much this staff truly valued nose tackle. It’s also fair to wonder if Dalton Kincaid might have been the guy they wanted at No. 26, before Buffalo leapfrogged Dallas to secure the Utah tight end’s services. Still, the Cowboys have failed to stop the run in some critical games, and the dancing-bear Smith is expected to help on that front. Luke Schoonmaker might feel like a concession pick at tight end if they had their sights set higher, but he really is a good, functional, all-around player who should round that position group into form. DeMarvion Overshown and Viliami Fehoko Jr. were smart pieces to add to a defense that needed another layer of depth, and I can envision Overshown being a nice special teams player. That said, Overshown and Fehoko’s immediate contributions might not be that significant, which also could be the case with Asim Richards. If he can make the switch to guard, perhaps he can vie for a starting role as a rookie; otherwise, he rates as a versatile reserve. Eric Scott Jr. and Jalen Brooks were also late-round fliers at positions that needed fresh bodies; the Cowboys were shorthanded at corner and receiver late last year. I’m probably not alone in being hyped about the Deuce Vaughn pick, and not just because it gave us one of the great tearjerker moments of the 2023 NFL Draft. The 5-foot-5, 179-pounder legitimately could and should crack that RB depth chart, add some real juice to the offense and be a fan favorite by halftime of the preseason opener. It’s a mostly unsexy crop, but a fairly respectable one.

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