HomeSportsNFLDallas Cowboys ink Luke Schoonmaker, Eric Scott Jr. ahead of rookie minicamp

Dallas Cowboys ink Luke Schoonmaker, Eric Scott Jr. ahead of rookie minicamp

by Nikki Chavanelle
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Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys inked two of their eight 2023 NFL Draft picks on Thursday. According to his agency, second-round selection Luke Schoonmaker signed his four-year deal with Dallas. ESPN’s Todd Archer is also reporting that sixth-round selection, cornerback Eric Scott also signed his deal.

More deals are on the way very soon, according to Cowboys beat reporter David Moore.

“Cowboys believe they have a good chance to sign all 7 members of this draft class before the weekend is done, a person w/ knowledge of the club’s approach said,” Moore shared on Thursday.

Dallas snagged Schoonmaker with the No. 58 selection. Although the official figure on his four-year salary total is not out yet, Spotrac estimates it will be worth roughly $6.26 million.

The Cowboys really like the value they are getting out of Schoonmaker. He wasn’t one of the first tight ends off of the board but the class was deep in 2023.

“We like everything about him — his physical traits,” head coach Mike McCarthy said after the draft. “He has the ability to play the ‘Y’ position off the ball. He’s done the insert seams — keeping the tackle and the ends and inserting him on the linebackers. He runs better than probably we give him credit for. His vertical presence, we think we can really build off of that. Really, really well-rounded, and that’s what you’re looking for.

“As a play caller and game plan designer, these tight ends give you the chance to get them on different personnel groups and stay creative.”

Eric Scott Jr., the team’s first of two picks in the sixth round, hails from Southern Mississippi. His projected total value for a four-year deal is $4.05 million. His total contract figure is also not public yet, however, Todd Archer shared that his signing bonus was $218,308.

Cowboys assign rookies new numbers

Heading into rookie minicamp, the Cowboys assigned jersey numbers to each of the newcomers. Starting with the No. 26 overall pick, former Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith, here are the new numbers to look out for on the field this season:

Mazi Smith, DT, No. 58
Luke Schoonmaker, TE, No. 86
DeMarvion Overshown, LB, No. 35
Viliami “Junior” Fehoko, DL, No. 93
Asim Richards, OL, No. 76
Eric Scott, CB, No. 37
Deuce Vaughn, RB, No. 42
Jalen Brooks, WR, No. 83

The Cowboys drafted Luke Schoonmaker with the plan to replace the production lost by the departure of Dalton Schultz to the Texans. Coincidentally, Schoonmaker will also replace Schultz as the No. 86 on the roster. Schultz wore 86 during his five seasons with the Cowboys before leaving in free agency this offseason.

The No. 76 is also another recycled number from the 2022 season. Former TCU OL Aviante Collins wore 76 last season but it will now be worn by new addition Asim Richards. At UNC, where he contributed for four seasons, Richards wore No. 72.

Like Richards, former Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn is also getting a new number. Vaughn wore the No. 22 jersey while with the Wildcats, however, the Cowboys have essentially unofficially retired the number. Running back legend Emmitt Smith wore it from 1990-2002.

As the son of a Dallas scout, Vaughn was well aware that he wouldn’t be able to continue wearing his number from Kansas State.

“I know that No. 22 is 100 percent off the table, so we’re going to have to go and make something shake,” Vaughn told reporters.