The Dallas Cowboys have added promising talent through the 2023 NFL draft, and one rookie is being praised by Los Angeles Chargers icon LaDainian Tomlinson.
Tomlinson was one of the most dynamic running backs of the 2000s, earning first-team All-Pro honors five times and being named the league’s MVP in 2006. Now, the Chargers legend is signaling a bright future for Cowboys rookie running back Deuce Vaughn.
Vaughn was taken in the fifth round of this year’s draft after a stellar college career at Kansas State. For Tomlinson, Vaughn’s lateral quickness and versatility should make him a “matchup nightmare” for Dallas’ opponents.
“I think this could be a matchup nightmare out the backfield. A lot of people are comparing him to Darren Sproles who was one of the best ever coming out the back field, running routes, creating mismatches,” Tomlinson said on NFL Network. “I see Deuce Vaughn in the same light. There’s no way you’re going to stop him one-on-one from running option routes. You can also bring him out the back field, put him on the perimeter. He’s as quick as a gnat and I’m telling you right now, the Cowboys will find a place and find a way to utilize Deuce Vaughn’s skills.”
That’s high praise coming from any former NFL player, but the words being from Hall of Famer like Tomlinson only adds to the compliment.
Vaughn Leads K-State Offense
When looking at the tape and the stats, many fans might wonder how Vaughn fell to the Cowboys in the fifth round. The reality is that Vaughn is undersized at 5’6″ and 172 pounds, but team’s avoiding him for that reason may end up being Dallas’ gain.
After a complementary role as a freshman in 2020 (which still featured a whopping 1076 yards from scrimmage per Sports Reference,) Vaughn has been one of the most productive running backs in college football over the past two years.
The 21-year-old totaled 3808 yards from scrimmage over 2021 and 2022, scoring 34 total touchdowns in the process. Vaughn isn’t a “reception merchant” either as the quick running back averaged 5.7 yards per carry and his rushing totals counting for 2962 yards of his total scrimmage yards.
It’s that versatility that Tomlinson was praising, and it does make his future with Dallas promising. Vaughn’s ceiling feels high, but he also can be a “swiss army knife” option for the team even if he doesn’t take a starring role.
Cowboys Rookie Joins Micah Parsons for Workout
In a recent workout video posted by trainer Tim Riley, Vaughn is already getting to work and getting to know of his star teammates and Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons. The two were filmed working out with Cincinnati Bengals star receiver Ja’Marr Chase.
The trio do a race during a line drill, and it’s not completely clear who won. What is apparent is that both Parsons and Vaughn had Chase beat.
It’s impressive to see Parsons be able to keep up with his 6’3″, 245-pound frame. But anyone who has seen the pass-rusher over the past two seasons won’t be surprised to see him do so.
Meanwhile, Vaughn is getting valuable experience meeting two of the NFL’s brightest young stars while getting some work done in the process.