Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

How the Cowboys can nail the 2024 NFL Draft

Chloe Williams

The Dallas Cowboys have been the most confusing team this offseason mainly because they haven’t made any big moves compared to the rest of the NFL. The team let a handful of players walk while only re-signing running back Rico Dowdle and signing free-agent linebacker Eric Kendricks. There have been some questions surrounding Jerry Jones’ methods this offseason, but this free agency cycle could help get more pieces around their quarterback Dak Prescott during the draft.

The Cowboys let offensive tackle Tyron Smith and running back Tony Pollard walk, this led to a lot of overreactions by fans. But this could be a sign that the Cowboys didn’t value the players as much as we thought. With the draft around the corner, it looks like a perfect opportunity to replace those players. This draft has a lot of top-end offensive talent, from the offensive line, wide receiver and even quarterback.

With the loss of Smith, it would be in the Cowboys’ best interest to draft an offensive lineman in the first round. Luckily, there are a lot of options for offensive linemen for teams in this draft. If the Cowboys want a more athletic tackle who can get off the ball quickly and who can get to the second level in the run game, there’s plenty of them to go around. Players like JC Latham from Alabama and Tyler Guyton from Oklahoma are two players that fit that mold. 

If they would want to get a guard or center there’s a lot of depth there too. Christian Haynes from UConn and Jackson Powers-Johnson from Oregon would do wonders if they’re available. Or, if they want a lineman who can play inside and outside, there are a couple of them too like Graham Barton from Duke and Zach Frazier from West Virginia. 

Not only is drafting a good offensive lineman a good pick for the present, it’s a great pick for the future. Many teams struggle to get good offensive linemen to play in the NFL, when teams like the Eagles, Packers and Lions draft good offensive linemen it does wonders for their offenses. A good offensive line has the ability to raise the floor and ceiling of a team, it gives the quarterback more time in the pocket and gives the running back more space to work with in the run game.

With their next pick, the Cowboys should draft a receiver to complement CeeDee Lamb in the passing game and a running back who can get those tough yards in the run game. There is plenty of depth at receiver in this draft. Outside of the star receivers like Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze, there is an abundance of talented receivers who are projected to be late-round picks as well. Ja’Lynn Polk from Washington and Xavier Legette from South Carolina are two late round receivers who could make immediate impacts for the Cowboys.

There are not a lot of highly projected running backs like there are for wide receivers in this year’s draft. But, there are some players who can fit within the Cowboys’ run game. Jaylen Wright from Tennessee and Bucky Irving from Oregon, who have played in zone run schemes in college, are a couple of running backs who would be good fits for the Cowboys.

Over the past four years, the Cowboys have drafted many good players. Players like Micah Parsons, CeeDee Lamb, Tyler Smith, and Trevon Diggs have become among the best at their positions. If the Cowboys are truly “all in” like Jones says they are, they have to nail this draft, especially after being silent during free agency.

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About the Contributors
Michael Rios
Michael Rios, Staff Writer
Michael (He/Him) is a second year communication major at UTSA. He plans on looking for a sports journalist job after graduation. He loves sports such as basketball, football and baseball. When he is not watching sports, Michael enjoys watching TV shows, movies, playing basketball and hanging out with his friends. 
Chloe Williams
Chloe Williams, Managing Editor
Chloe (she/her) is a senior majoring in Business Marketing with a minor in Adaptive Decision Business Models. On her off days you can find Chloe thrifting, being a self-proclaimed food critic or outside enjoying nature. This is her third year at The Paisano and she is excited to serve as Managing Editor.

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