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3 rookie draft picks shine in preseason debut for the Cowboys

Despite the loss, Cowboys fans should feel excited about what they saw from their rookies against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

NFL: AUG 12 Preseason - Jaguars at Cowboys Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys played their first preseason game on Saturday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, losing 28 to 23. Despite the loss, Cowboys fans should have a lot to be excited for, as many players showed flashes of what they can contribute to the team this upcoming season.

Most notably, rookie running back Deuce Vaughn shined in his preseason debut. Fans waited restlessly to see the newcomer take his first snap at running back, as it didn’t come until the third quarter. When Vaughn finally got his opportunity, he didn’t look back. He used his burst and quickness to make defenders look silly, rushing for 50 yards on eight carries. He also punched in a four-yard touchdown run.

Vaughn went into detail regarding what the night meant for him.

“Just that I belong,” Vaughn said when asked what his big night meant, via Todd Archer of ESPN. “That’s the biggest thing for myself – coming in and proving the people that believe in me right. It doesn’t stop now. We go back to work on Monday, and we’re getting ready for the next preseason game.”

Rookie third-round pick DeMarvion Overshown looked very impressive as well in his first game-action at linebacker with the team. He appeared to be flying all over the field, showing off his instincts and range. An attractive trait to Overshown heading into the draft was his versatility as a defender. While Overshown looks more like a big safety than a true linebacker, he certainly didn’t let that hold him back. He showed his tenacity on this third down stop at the line of scrimmage.

When asked what he’s capable of, Overshown had this to say:

“Going out there week by week and flying around…trying to beat everybody to the ball. I take pride in that. I’m looking forward to being that guy all year.”

Defensive tackle Mazi Smith, the team’s first-round pick in the 2023 draft, also showed the run-stopping presence that the team drafted him for. His play may not have jumped off the screen, but he made his presence felt clogging up the interior of the trenches.

While the team didn’t win, there was plenty to be excited about for Cowboys fans watching the game on Saturday. It will become increasingly more exciting as the regular season approaches and the rookies continue to build on their success.

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