Position battleground (rookies): Cowboys at Commanders breakdown for draft picks/UDFAs

Previously we broke down both team’s offense and defense for the upcoming game between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Commanders. Now we dive back into the position battleground, this time looking at how some of each team’s rookie class stack up against each other.

Dallas Cowboys

NT Mazi Smith (First Round)

Smith came in on 17 defensive snaps last week. He failed to record a tackle but did hole the middle pretty well on occasions. He was facing one of the best offensive lines in terms of run blocking and had a tough day. This week he faces a lesser a challenge against a Washington offensive that fails to win in the run game, and their offensive line is in serious trouble due to injuries. Let’s see how he copes this week.

Grade: C+

TE Luke Schoonmaker (Second Round)

Another day of missing out on any receiving work for Schoonmaker last week, but he was formidable as a blocker. Both on pass sets and running plays, Schoonmaker was one of the better blockers on the field last week. Maybe the team preserves Jake Ferguson a little this week and we could see more usage for Schoonmaker. But for all of Washington’s defensive warts, one thing they have done good at defending this year is the tight end position.

Grade: C

FB Hunter Luepke (UDFA)

Luepke played seven snaps on offense and spent the rest of the game on special team duties. We all liked the fact Luepke had varied experience in college and that’s paying off at this stage. His role running ahead as a blocker for Pollard should be something this coaching staff utilizes a lot more. He’s pretty effective at clearing out when given the chance.

Grade: B-

K Brandon Aubrey (UDFA)

He’s already been named to the Pro Bowl, can he go a season without a single field goal miss? We’re all rooting for Aubrey and he’s been a sensation at the kicker position, and for this year’s rookie class for Dallas.

Grade: A+

NFL: NOV 19 Cowboys at Panthers

Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Washington Commanders

CB Emmanuel Forbes (First Round)

Forbes has all the markings of one day becoming a fine corner in the NFL. His size was already something that went against him and that’s been seen a lot this year. He’s only allowing a 61% completion rate which isn’t bad, this shows he has the athletic ability to stay glued to his assignment. The problem is receivers can bully him pretty easy and among cornerbacks this year, Forbes is allowing the most yards per reception at a staggering 18.3 yards per reception. This week he faces the Dallas wide receivers for the first time in his career, and the Washington defense may be asking him to do a lot based on the injuries on the team’s secondary.

S Jartavius Martin (Second Round)

Martin had a seriously bad day the last time he played the Cowboys. He only made two tackles and allowed two receptions, with one going for a touchdown to CeeDee Lamb. His snap count has rocketed in the back half of the season and his lack of experience is showing. He’s missed a whole lot of tackles and on 18 targets that have gone his way since facing Dallas in Week 12, he allowed 16 receptions.

DE K.J. Henry (Fifth Round)

Henry didn’t get to see any action until Week 9 and he’s had his struggles at making an impact this year. The Clemson rotational pass rusher has had 10 pressures this year and recorded one sack on 233 defensive snaps. He’s too easily pushed off his mark and there was always a concern how his play style would transition to the NFL. He’s quick and athletic for sure, but his hand usage and vision let him down, and this year that’s resulted in him failing to get past his block.

Washington Commanders v Seattle Seahawks

Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images


Which team has the better class of rookies?

  • 80%

    Dallas Cowboys

    (109 votes)

  • 19%

    Washington Commanders

    (26 votes)

135 votes total

Vote Now


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