FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Deuce Vaughn is " " in the words of team owner and general manager Jerry Jones said when describing his sixth-round rookie running back. The NFL and Nickelodeon took notice, naming Vaughn the inaugural NFL preseason NVP.
"Getting slimed was something I always watched growing up," Vaughn said Wednesday after practice. "It was hard to get out, but we got it all out. My mom will be excited whenever I tell her about it. She takes those moments, and I give all my trophies to her. It's really cool to even have this type of trophy."
The 5-6, 176-pound rookie provided the Cowboys with the highlight of the preseason. Head coach Mike McCarthy showered him with praise after a strong NFL preseason debut -- 62 scrimmage yards on 11 touches, including a four-yard rushing touchdown. On August 19 in Seattle, he produced the signature play, utilizing a perfect spin move to waltz into the end zone untouched for a 14-yard rushing touchdown. Vaughn didn't need to play at all in the Cowboys' preseason finale after showing his game translates to the NFL.
For myself, it's just doing whatever I can to help the team win," Vaughn said. "Whatever role that they have to put on my plate, I'll take. I'm going to do everything I can to help this team pull out wins and it's gonna be a fight every day. Seize everything every single day. So whenever it's time to go and play, [it's] whatever they have on my plate and whatever I can do to help this team win."
Sunday will be Vaughn's first regular season opportunity to do so when the Cowboys hit the road to face their NFC East divisional rival New York Giants in primetime on "Sunday Night Football." The rookie has a simple strategy to stay cool and collected: remind himself he is playing football.
"Just remembering that it's football," Vaughn said when asked how he will combat nerves on Sunday. "It's something that you've been playing since you were a little kid. This stage, this platform playing on 'Sunday Night Football', playing against the Giants and at Metlife Stadium. It's what you dreamed of as a kid and understanding that up to this point what you've done to get to this point, you can't change that routine. You can't change the way you go about your business, the way that you prep throughout the week. So whenever you get to that, you go out there and have fun, play your game and like I said earlier, whatever is put on my plate, I'm gonna run with that. I'm gonna do everything throughout the week to be able to, to go out there and be successful."