Cowboys handed a C in 2023 NFL draft grades

The Dallas Cowboys have been earning barely passing marks for their draft class but they have ample time to prove the pundits wrong.

DALLAS — The NFL draft represents an opportunity for teams to catch a little offseason momentum in their roster construction that can either put them over the top for the ensuing season or solve roster conundrums down the road.

For the Dallas Cowboys, their 2023 class was a mixture of both, and the results netted them a C grade from’s Eric Edholm.

While the Cowboys made an impression with their first-round pick of defensive tackle Mazi Smith and the second-round selection of tight end Luke Schoonmaker, their mid-round choices of third-round linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, fourth-round defensive end Viliami Fehoko, and fifth-round tackle Asim Richards were seen as puzzling.

“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,” Edholm wrote. “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.”

Part of the slow rolling of Dallas’ mid-rounders is what sets them up for having solutions to coming issues. Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is entering his 10th season with the team. At age 31, it is reasonable to presume the sands of time are few, relative to his impact.

Nevertheless rookies such as Fehoko want to learn what they can from Lawrence and even Micah Parsons, if they have to play behind them.

“That’s two of the best in the league,” Fehoko said on a conference call April 29. “Micah Parsons is a younger guy, and he’s been doing this since he got in the league. Just to be able to learn from guys like that, I feel like that will help me be able to progress in my game and be more consistent from down to down. I’m excited to get to work with those boys and learn everything I can from them.”

The draft is a 50-50 proposition as it is, and the Cowboys took the approach to use half their picks on current roster construction and another half on having possible plugs when key veterans leave a hole.

Do you agree that the Cowboys’ class earns a C grade? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.

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