Latest On Cowboys’ Draft Plans

The Cowboys are one of several teams positioned to add along the offensive line during the first round of the upcoming draft. That 2024 tackle class in particular has drawn considerable praise, and selecting one of the best options on the board would help clarify Dallas’ plans up front for the coming season.

The free agent departure of Tyron Smith has left the Cowboys without a starting left tackle, unless 2022 first-rounder Tyler Smith handles blindside duties moving forward. The latter was drafted as the former’s heir apparent, but he thrived as a guard, earning a Pro Bowl invitation and second-team All-Pro honors last season. As a result, a tackle addition could be coming soon.

Indeed, The Athletic’s Jon Machota writes left tackle is “the position most likely to be addressed in the first round” when Dallas is on the clock (subscription required). The Cowboys own pick No. 24, which in many years would be too late to find a tackle prospect capable of starting right away. The 2024 class is deep up front, though, and Dallas could have a few options to choose from when on the clock. Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton and Georgia’s Amarius Mims could be on the board, although the Steelers (set to pick 20th) are expected to address their O-line in that range as well.

Of course, Tyler Smith kicking outside would leave the interior as an area of need for Dallas, a team which lost starting center Tyler Biadasz in free agency. The likes of Graham Barton and Jackson Powers-Johnson could be options in that event. ESPN’s Todd Archer predicts Smith will begin the 2024 season as Dallas’ blindside protector, and that approach would shift attention to guard or center prospects early in the draft. The Cowboys have hosted both interior and tackle options on ‘top-30’ visits.

To little surprise, Machota adds the Cowboys will not address the linebacker position on Day 1. No LB prospects are seen as locks to hear their names called in the first round, but that spot is certainly one which could use additions in Dallas’ case. A selection as early as the second round (where the team owns pick No. 56) could bring about the arrival of a linebacker to help complement free agent signing Eric Kendricks.

Aiming to quell criticisms which have stemmed from the team’s quiet offseason to date, the Cowboys could add a number of impact rookies in the near future. While it remains to be seen which O-line position the team’s top pick in that respect plays, an early move up front should be expected at this point.

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