FRISCO, Texas — It's a hell of a lot sooner than they'd like it to be, but the Dallas Cowboys will now begin turning their attention to free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit. With the season concluded, and owners of a 12-5 record, they are now solidified as the No. 24 pick this coming April.
It can be a challenge to make the right pick when you're not on the clock until late in the first round, that much is certainly true, but it's also true that the Cowboys have typically fared very well in that spot — to say the very least.
A look at each of their picks at No. 24 invokes a ton of confidence in their ability to potentially find a player this coming spring who'll instantly make an impact when autumn arrives.
Have a look for yourself:
1969 - Calvin Hill, RB (Yale): Diehard Cowboys' fans know all about Calvin Hill, one of the more popular halfbacks of his era. He got the call from Dallas as the No. 24 pick in 1969 and flew out of the gates at the professional level — named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and a First-Team All-Pro. Hill instantly became a gold standard for how to pick late in the first round.
1992 - Robert Jones, LB (East Carolina): Jones came as a first-round package deal in 1992 alongside cornerback Kevin Smith, who was selected at No. 17 in the same draft, but kudos to a player from a small school like East Carolina being able to not only get the nod from America's Team, but to also produce a combined 108 tackles in 13 starters en route to AP All-Rookie Team honors, and a UPI NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year nod, deserves a salute.
2010 - Dez Bryant, WR (Oklahoma State): The most heralded Cowboys' pick at this spot, of all-time, definitely belongs to "X" himself. Jerry Jones and the front office traded up 2 spots from No. 26 to grab Bryant in 2010, and the interstellar wideout went on to have one of the best and most impressive careers in franchise history. His brand still rings loudly throughout the league and Cowboys nation as a whole, and throwing up the X will forever be relevant.
2022 - Tyler Smith, OL (Tulsa): Though the initial reception for Smith's pick by fans was the polar opposite of what Bryant received, all the Tulsa product went on to do was save the day at left tackle, and as a rookie who had only taken training camp reps at guard, no less, in the wake of losing Tyron Smith; and his sophomore season saw him return to left guard before becoming one of the best at that position [as well] in the entire league. From being much-maligned to an All-Pro honor in the span of two seasons is kind of a big deal.