Standing at 5-foot-5 and 180 pounds, Deuce Vaughn made a big impact for the Dallas Cowboys in his first NFL preseason game.
The Cowboys' rookie RB played a major role in the second half of Saturday's 28-23 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
With Dallas trailing, 14-7, entering the third quarter, Vaughn excelled in the two drives he participated in. He had six touches during the first drive, which ended in a field goal, and in his second the Kansas State product saw five touches spread between the run and passing game, finishing with a 4-yard rushing touchdown to give Dallas a 16-14 lead to start the fourth quarter.
"It's hard to put into words, man," Vaughn told Nick Harris of the team’s website. "I can't take all of the credit, all of those guys up front were blocking their butts off all game. To get in the end zone in the first preseason game, it's a testament to all of the work that's been put in since pre-draft."
Vaughn's night was over after hitting pay dirt. He displayed his shiftiness and quickness on eight rushes for 50 yards (6.3 yards per carry) and a score.
"He rolled in there and ran conceptually everything that the other guys ran, too," head coach Mike McCarthy said, via Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News. "I think that speaks volumes about him. I thought he had a heck of a night. Great introduction to the NFL."
A sixth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Vaughn says he gained a lot from his first preseason game.
"A lot of confidence," Vaughn said. "It's a question mark coming in when you're about to play your first NFL game. It's not college, you wonder if you can go to the speed and be successful. It gives me a lot of confidence, but also understanding that this is just a preseason game."
Even after his strong debut, Vaughn is already looking to get back on the field for the team's next contest against the Seattle Seahawks on Aug. 19 and continue to make improvements.
"There were a couple of things I kind of wanted back," Vaughn said after Saturday's game. "That's what practice is for, getting back into the grind of it in the work of the week and get ready for the next preseason game."
Dallas has more film now to evaluate whether Vaughn can take on a backup RB role behind Pro Bowl running back Tony Pollard by the start of the 2023 season in a few weeks.
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