Dallas Cowboys give sleeper UDFA a massive contract guarantee

North Dakota State’s Hunter Luepke carries the ball on Saturday, September 24, 2022, at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.Usd Vs Ndsu 021
North Dakota State’s Hunter Luepke carries the ball on Saturday, September 24, 2022, at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.Usd Vs Ndsu 021 /

The Dallas Cowboys, after finishing a hefty 2023 NFL Draft class on Saturday, wasted absolutely no time throwing big salary guarantees and signing bonuses at a really stellar group of undrafted free agents, which now includes one of the top sleeper running backs of the entire 2023 NFL Draft class. The Cowboys managed to land North Dakota State fullback Hunter Luepke in the post-draft undrafted free agent frenzy, and they got a player who might be able to contribute heavily right away.

Luepke heads to Dallas from North Dakota State where he caught passes, he carried the ball, he took snaps as a “wildcat” player, and showed out athletically in the pre-draft process.

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein had this to say about him:

"Versatile fullback with experience as a tailback, tight end and Wildcat option. Luepke is a jack-of-all-trades who has posted an impressive touchdown-per-touch ratio as both a runner and pass-catcher. He’s expected to test well and has the ability to compete for reps as a core special-teamer. While he has soft hands and has shown some route-running savvy, he will need to prove himself as a lead blocker if he is to excite NFL offensive coordinators.Lance Zierlein"

The Cowboys certainly made it known how much they liked Luepke as a prospect by showing him the money. According to reports, he’s receiving at least $200,000 in total guarantees to come compete for a roster spot in Dallas.

Not a bad chunk of change to ease the pain of not hearing your name called during the NFL Draft.

Zierlein, in addition to pointing out all of the unique ways this guy is going to be able to contribute to the Cowboys, also projected Luepke as a fifth-rounder. He obviously didn’t end up going there, but the value on the UDFA market is still tremendous for Dallas.

The name Kyle Juszczyk doesn’t just get thrown out there. Of course, there are guys you hope can become that level of weapon for your offense and special teams, but there’s really nobody in the NFL like him.

Dallas Cowboys 2023 NFL Draft class

26. Mazi Smith, DL, Michigan
58. Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan
90. DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas
129. Viliami Fehoko Jr., EDGE, San Jose State
169. Asim Richards, OT, North Carolina
178. Eric Scott Jr., CB, Southern Mississippi
212. Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State
244. Jalen Brooks, WR, South Carolina

We saw the Cowboys take a pretty balanced approach with their draft, going on a little mini-streak of offensive skill players to close things out. Landing a player like Luepke in the undrafted free agency frenzy could end up being a huge difference-maker for this roster in so many little ways over the course of a season.

Whether he is catching passes, throwing blocks, making plays on special teams, I think Luepke is one of the UDFAs in this year’s crop that’s going to carve out a long NFL career.