We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 42.
RB Deuce Vaughn
Born: 2nd November 2001 (21) - Fayetteville, Arkansas
College: Kansas State Wildcats
Draft: 2023, Round 6, Pick 212, Dallas Cowboys
2022 Stats: (College)
Rush Attempts: 293
Rush Yards: 1,558
Receiving Yards: 378
Dak Prescott pass to Deuce Vaughn pic.twitter.com/6dHkNeMSA4— Jess Nevarez (@JessNevarez_) July 27, 2023
Deuce Vaughn accepted a scholarship at Kansas State in 2020 and as a freshman he quickly became the team’s starting running back. He had 123 carries for 642 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns, 25 receptions for 434 yards, two receiving touchdowns, and seven kickoff returns for 145 yards. It was a solid start for Vaughn and he was named Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year and earned second-team All-Big 12 honors.
The following year he looked even better, registering 235 carries as a rusher for 1,404 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. He also had 49 receptions for 468 yards and four receiving touchdowns. He played his best game against Kansas when he went for 162 rushing yards, 70 receiving yards, including an 80-yard touchdown run.
In his junior year, Vaughn became the third player in school history with multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons and the first player with 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a career. Vaughn ranked eighth in rushing yards in the FBS (1,558 yards) and led the FBS with 1,936 all-purpose yards. He finished his career at Kansas State with 651 carries (second in school history), 3,604 rushing yards (second in school history), 34 rushing touchdowns and 21 100-yard rushing games (second in school history). His 5,029 all-purpose yards is third-most in school history and he is one of just two Big 12 players to ever register 3,600 rushing yards and 1,250 receiving yards in a career, the other being Demarco Murray.
A three-time All-American with a unique family connection to the #DallasCowboys just got added to the RB room.— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) April 29, 2023
Get the full scouting report for Deuce Vaughn out of @KStateFB. ↓#CowboysDraft | @MillerLite
The biggest setback to Vaughn is his size; he’s not just short, he’s light for the position too. He’s officially the shortest player to ever be drafted since the NFL Combine began tracking measurements. This makes him a huge outlier in the NFL as players of his height have come in a lot heavier which helped them succeed. The simple argument to make is that when he played in college his size never held him back or caused durability concerns. He will come into Dallas to be a change-of-pace back and add some speed and flash with his refined receiving skills to a running back room that lost a big player this year.
Vaughn has shown consistently to have amazing vision coming up to the line, and despite his size, will hit the hole fast and fearlessly between the tackles. This we have seen already at Oxnard. Most important for Vaughn, he possesses quality contact balance and can offer himself as a safe target in the passing game, with reliable hands and good route running. There’s no doubt Vaughn has a massive cliff to climb to get reps this year, but his college production, whether it was as a receiver or on the ground, proves he has a high ceiling to work with and huge playmaking potential.
Projected 2023 Stats:
Rush Attempts: 25
Rush Yards: 92
Receiving Yards: 151
Tony Pollard, Ronald Jones & Deuce Vaughn during running back drills. pic.twitter.com/FvWErSblrZ— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) July 26, 2023
The Big Question:
How much playtime will Deuce Vaughn get this year? Comment below with your thoughts.