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19) Which UDFA will make biggest impact? 


(Editor's Note: In the upcoming weeks before the start of training camp, the staff of is looking to answer the 20 biggest questions facing the team heading into the 2024 season. Today, the staff writers continue the series with a focus on the undrafted rookies and who to watch out for this season.)

19) Which UDFA will make the biggest impact?

Nick Harris: I was surprised to see Brevyn Spann-Ford's name still on the board when the draft concluded in April, as his run blocking knacks and physical skillset seemed worthy of a draft selection, so I'd have to go with him. His guaranteed money that he got when signed would create the assumption that he will have at least a practice squad spot, but it wouldn't surprise me if he lands a role bigger than that. Aside from him, keep an eye on safeties Emany Johnson and Julius Wood. Both fit the Zimmer idea of a hard-hitting downhill safety and have the IQ in the defensive backfield to coincide with it.

Kurt Daniels: I'm thinking the biggest UDFA impact will come from one of the new linebackers. That's a position with a lot of question marks. Will DeMarvion Overshown be ready? How about rookie third-round pick Marist Liufau? Can Eric Kendricks maintain his production at the age of 32? Given all that, rookies Jason Johnson, Byron Vaughns and Brock Mogensen should have a great opportunity to show what they can do. Now, Vaughns may be more of an edge rusher, which there could be a logjam there, while Mogensen is making the jump from the FCS Level, so Johnson may be the most prepared to step in right away. He was named second-team All-Big 12 last season after racking up 114 tackles with his 8.4 takedowns per game ranking third in the conference. And don't forget that the depth at linebacker is certainly a concern as well, not to mention the linebacking corps in general is expected to be revamped somewhat under defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. In other words, these young UDFA linebackers find themselves in a great position to make an early impact.

Kyle Youmans: Recent UDFA success, brings elevated UDFA expectations. This organization has had great success finding contributions from the undrafted pool. But this can produce an obstacle for the current class. Both from a pressure standpoint, and a pure numbers game. That's the case with Brevyn Spann-Ford. The big-bodied tight end from Minnesota was at the top of my draft board when the weekend came to an end, so there should be excitement from his signing. However, he'll have to contend for a spot with former UDFAs like John Stephens and Peyton Hendershot in a crowded tight end room. Because of this, the answer to an "impact" question will be in a less crowded situation, such as defensive line. Byron Vaughns has a chance to fill a void left by Dorance Armstrong's departure. The Baylor product can both stop the run and rush the passer with his impressive 84-inch wingspan. Something this defensive front desperately needs.

Nick Eatman: This is one of my favorite parts of camp because there's always a player or two that emerge from obscurity, and you never know who it'll be. My answer would be a "good problem to have" for the Cowboys, who think they're getting added value with DT Denzel Daxon, who qualifies for a roster exemption because he's in the International Pathway Program, being from the Bahamas. But that only matters if he's on the practice squad. What if he makes the 53-man roster? Then it goes away. I think it's a position that could allow someone like him to stand out. Again, a good problem to have.

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