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NFL Draft Blog | 2024

Draft Blog: Certain combine medical reports to watch

The 2024 draft season is upon us and the Cowboys have the No. 24 overall pick in the first round. The Draft Blog will chronicle the draft process for the Dallas Cowboys leading up to the NFL Draft in Detroit on April 25-27.

Stay locked in with the Draft Blog as we key tabs on all of the news and notes as it pertains to the Dallas Cowboys and the draft process over the next few months.

Feb. 22 - Certain combine medical reports to watch

The NFL Combine is less than a week away from getting started in Indianapolis, as over 300 of the nation's top available draft talent will go through interviews with teams and the media as well as the scheduled workouts at Lucas Oil Stadium. One aspect of the combine that scouts pay close attention to is the medical reports that come out of the extensive physicals that are done during the week.

For the Cowboys, a handful of top players at positions of need will be followed closely coming out of that process.

Duke offensive lineman Graham Barton is trending as a late first round option for trench-needy teams, and results coming out of his torn labrum will be key. There aren't major concerns, but a clear physical will reinforce his stock. 

West Virginia center Zach Frazier broke his leg in his final season with the Mountaineers and is still rehabbing to get back to 100-percent. Along those same lines, Texas running back Jonathon Brooks – who is trending as the top running back in the draft – tore his ACL in November and had his ACL surgery done by the Dallas Cowboys' team doctor, Dr. Dan Cooper.

North Carolina State linebacker Payton Wilson is a consensus top five linebacker in the draft, but two knee injuries and a shoulder injury from his days with the Wolfpack will have teams watching his medical evaluation closely. Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean is dealing with a lower leg injury that will keep him out of the workouts in Indianapolis, but his medical evaluations are not expected to be overwhelmingly negative. - Harris


Feb. 21 - Making the case for trading up and trading back

With the Cowboys expecting to have seven draft picks (R1, R2, R3, R5 (expected comp.), R6 (expected comp.) R7 and R7) this year, a thought around the Dallas draft community exists to trade back a few spots at some point in the draft to pick up an extra selection.

With Dallas currently holding the No. 24 overall pick, an opportunity could present itself for the Cowboys to gain a middle round pick by moving back a few spots into the late 20's. With a deep tackle class awaiting in the first round, falling back could still allow Dallas to take a tackle later in the round, but they do run the risk of not having a first-round caliber player available for them when that time comes.

To that same point, a run of offensive linemen is expected to take place in the late teens of the draft, with teams such as the Bengals, Rams, Jaguars and Steelers being among the other offensive line-needy teams. If the board starts slimming up with talent, jumping up a few spots could be the best solution to ensuring that the Cowboys have a first round quality offensive lineman for the future – if they are hellbent on coming out of the first round with that position addressed.

Even aside from the first round, we've seen the Cowboys make moves on day two and three in recent drafts to move around and either acquire picks or move up to grab players – such as in 2023 when they traded up to grab Eric Scott Jr. in the sixth round. In 2024, the assumption would have to be that any trade made would be to acquire more picks. Even just one extra pick on day three could help solidify needs that Dallas will have coming out of free agency in the coming weeks. - Harris


Feb. 20 - Running back draft strategy dependent on free agency

Going into the offseason, the Dallas Cowboys have a handful of positions in need of upgrading, and while draft talent will certainly play a role in filling those holes, opportunities exist in free agency to alleviate pressure in certain positions in the draft.

Arguably the biggest spotlight going into free agency is the running back position. The Cowboys have a decision to make with Tony Pollard and if they want to bring him back in the building. If they do, drafting a running back is still a necessity, but there's less pressure on finding a starting caliber back that can play day one. If they don't bring him back and pick up a running back in free agency, the decision then goes to if they feel like they need a day-one starting caliber player or a complementary back in the draft.

Top running back options include Texas RB Jonathon Brooks – who is coming off an ACL tear and will require patience to get off the ground and going – Michigan RB Blake Corum – who had a productive season for the reigning national champs but lacks the ideal size – and Florida State RB Trey Benson who could be the best fit for the Cowboys of all three options at the top of the board.

However, third round options still exist such as productive stat filler Bucky Irving out of Oregon and downhill physical specimen Braelon Allen out of Wisconsin. - Harris


Feb. 8 – 3 Possible 'Double-Dip' Positions in the NFL Draft

It's a question asked every single year, which position group makes the most sense for multiple selections in the NFL Draft? Especially with a crucial offseason hanging in the balance, there could be a few spots Dallas would look to upgrade in 2024.

Offensive Line: The trenches top the list. Mostly because Dallas could make investments in both guard and tackle. But also, because the value at the position would line up to where the Cowboys would take a lineman. They could make an investment up front by drafting and offensive lineman in the first round, and again on day two or early day three.

Linebacker: More of a need, less of a value. Dallas played the final weeks of the 2023 season with one true linebacker on the active roster. While value is important when picking in the NFL Draft, so is an apparent need for bodies to play the position. Look for them to search for linebacker talent as early as the second round.

Edge Rusher: This one may be a little under the radar. From the outside, it appears the Cowboys have enough at edge rusher to start. However, with Dorance Armstrong and Dante Fowler hitting the free agent market this summer, there needs to be an influx of depth. And as we've seen in the past, this front office hasn't backed away from taking day three edge rushers. They could definitely do so again. -Youmans



Feb. 6 - Draft Blog: Is linebacker an early round necessity?

College all-star games are in the rearview mirror as now the draft process looks ahead to the NFL Combine at the end of the month in Indianapolis. Draft boards around the league are becoming more detailed as well as potential needs in the draft with free agency approaching.

With that in mind, the Dallas Cowboys have a clear need in the second level at the linebacker position this offseason – and may be even clearer that there's a need to bring in multiple bodies to help the depth. Obviously, the status of Leighton Vander Esch as well as what happens in free agency will determine a lot as far as Dallas' draft strategy at the position goes, but with a talented linebacker class at the top paired with Dallas' need, is it a necessity to grab one by the end of day two?

Looking at potential options, Edgerrin Cooper (Texas A&M), Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (Clemson), Payton Wilson (NC State) and Cedric Gray (North Carolina) are intriguing talents in the second level that could slide in and contribute early for Dallas alongside DeMarvion Overshown and Damone Clark. If the Cowboys decide to wait until later in the draft to get a linebacker, they risk sacrificing the ability to plug and play early, but that could also be assisted with a strong solution in free agency. But if the team wants young talent to contribute on day one at linebacker, grabbing one in round two or three may be the only option. - Nick Harris



Feb. 1 – West Dominates East in First Frisco Shrine Bowl

The 99th annual East-West Shrine Bowl is in the books. The West outlasted the East in a battle of the NFL's top draft prospects, 26-11. Running back Frank Gore Jr. from Southern Miss won the Offensive MVP award and Jarius Monroe from Tulane won the Defensive MVP, thanks to a game-sealing interception.

Multiple prospects built on their solid week of practice, including UCLA linebacker Darius Muasau, who started the night off with a thud by stuffing the run for a loss. Additionally, his West teammates Soloman Byrd (USC) and Grayson Murphy (UCLA) tallied multiple pressures and made it a long night for East quarterbacks.

Additionally, the West shined behind quarterback Tualia Tagovailoa (Maryland) and running back Blake Watson (Memphis) and Frank Gore Jr. (Southern Miss). Both stood out with rushing scores for the West offense and helped dominate on the ground alongside Gore Jr.

The East pieced together a few bright spots in a punt return touchdown from Oregon State wide receiver Anthony Gould and a stout outing by Boston College guard Christian Mahogany in the trenches.

Tune in to The Draft Show Friday morning at 11am CT, for a complete wrap of the 99th Annual Shrine Bowl and a preview of the 2024 Reese's Senior Bowl. - Kyle Youmans


Jan. 31 – Defensive backs shine on Day 2 in Mobile

The second day of Senior Bowl practices concluded on Tuesday afternoon in Mobile, as multiple defensive backs were able to shine.

Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell has been generating buzz as the potential first cornerback off the board in April's draft amidst a stretch in Mobile where he has been a technician in coverage against some of the top receivers in attendance. Missouri cornerback Kris Abrams-Draine came into Mobile with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, and you can see that translate onto the field with his physicality in coverage.

The defensive backs were also active in taking the ball away on Wednesday, as along with Mitchell getting an interception, Washington State cornerback Chau Smith-Wade had an interception while falling back into the end zone and Rutgers safety Max Melton forced a fumble in team drills.

Other standouts from the day included Connecticut offensive lineman Christian Haynes, Texas defensive tackle T'Vondre Sweat, North Carolina State linebacker Payton Wilson, Missouri offensive tackle Javon Foster, USC running back Marshawn Lloyd and Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall. - Nick Harris



Jan. 30 – Practice notes from Day 1 at the Senior Bowl

The Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala. kicked off on Tuesday as dozens of the nation's top available draft talent was present for one of the draft process' premier events.

Standouts from day one include Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson, Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell and Oklahoma tackle Tyler Guyton.

Powers-Johnson, who worked at center and right guard, displayed his strong base/anchor at both positions and found success in team drills in creating running lanes. Mitchell, who did not lose a one-on-one rep the entire day, is starting to generate buzz as the potential first cornerback off the board in April at his current progression rate. Guyton, who has been mocked by The Athletic in the first round to the Cowboys, displayed his length in pass protection and his mobility against more athletic edge rushers on his way to having arguably the strongest day of all offensive linemen in attendance.

Other day one standouts included Maryland safety Beau Brade, Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Hall, Baylor defensive tackle Gabe Hall, Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey and Western Michigan defensive end Marshawn Kneeland. - Nick Harris


Jan. 29 – Shrine Bowl Day Three Showcases Speed

The third practice day has come to a close for the Shrine Bowl in Frisco, and there was a common theme in both sessions. Speed. Both the East and West teams showcased speed inside Ford Center as multiple players continued to build on good weeks.

UCLA linebacker Darius Muasau turned heads for a third straight day. During the early portion of practice, he took solid angles to track down a ball carrier while being in position to make a tackle. Then he undercut a pass in the slot for an interception at the goal line during redzone 7-on-7 drills. His speed and instincts helped gain more momentum as the draft process continues.

On the offensive end, UTSA wide receiver Josh Cephus showed off the route running ability. He was already known for his NFL-ready size at 6-foot-2 190 pounds, but he answered some questions around his speed and agility. Cephus won multiple reps at the line of scrimmage and continued to build separation at the stem of his routes. He finished the day with multiple catches and one drop.

As Dallas continues to evaluate draft prospects for potential fits and positions of need, both Muasau and Cephus could fit the need and value around linebacker and wide receiver. - Kyle Youmans



Jan. 28 – Two interior linemen making Shrine Bowl noise

We are through two days of practice at the Shrine Bowl in Frisco as 130-plus of the nation's draft available prospects have put their talents on display at The Star for the dozens of scouts in attendance.

Two interior linemen are beginning to separate themselves from the pack as Boston College guard Christian Mahogany and Penn State center Hunter Nourzad have turned heads through the first two practice sessions. Mahogany, a projected third-round pick, has used his strong upper half and high motor to make an impact while Nourzad has displayed a base in pass protection that has seen him anchor into the turf into the Ford Center no matter who gets put in front of him.

The expectation is that Dallas takes a tackle in the first round of the draft at this point, but additional offensive line help in the middle rounds could be a useful option as well. These two names will be ones to watch as the Cowboys have more scouts in attendance for the Shrine Bowl than any team in the NFL. - Nick Harris



Jan. 25 – East-West Shrine Bowl Schedule of Events

For the first time in the 99-year history of the East-West Shrine Bowl, it will be played in Frisco, Texas. On Thursday, February 1, 130 of the nation's top draft prospects will duel inside Ford Center at the Star in front of scouts, media, and fans to improve their draft stock.

Along with the game itself, there will also be a week of practices and events full of NFL Draft coverage. Below is the schedule of East-West Shrine Bowl festivities in Frisco (all-times central):

Saturday, January 27

  • East Team Practice 1: 8:15am-9:45am
  • West Team Practice 1: 10:00am-11:30am

Sunday, January 28

  • West Team Practice 2: 8:15am-9:45am
  • East Team Practice 2: 10:00am-11:30am

Monday, January 29

  • East Team Practice 3: 8:15am-9:45am
  • West Team Practice 3: 10:00am-11:30am

Tuesday, January 30

  • West Team Practice 4: 8:15am-9:45am
  • East Team Practice 4: 10:00am-11:30am

Wednesday, January 31

  • Media Day: 11:00am-1:00pm

Thursday, February 1

  • Shrine Bowl Fan Fest: 4:30pm-6:30pm (Open to the public)
  • East-West Shrine Bowl on NFL Network: 7:00pm Kickoff

For all East-West Shrine Bowl coverage, stay tuned on and @TheDraftShow on twitter.



Jan. 24 – Cowboys expected to have seven picks

The Dallas Cowboys currently have five draft picks in hand for the 2024 NFL Draft in April, as they will have a first-round pick (No. 24 overall), a second-round pick (No. 58 overall), a third-round pick (No. 87 overall) and two seventh-round picks (No. 230 overall from Raiders in Johnathan Hankins trade and No. 241 overall).

The Cowboys are also expected to add two compensatory picks for the free agent departures of Connor McGovern and Dalton Schultz. According to projections by Over the Cap, those picks are expected to be in the fifth-round and sixth-round. Although compensatory picks are not expected to be finalized until early March, there is a chance that Dallas could add a third compensatory pick in the seventh-round from Noah Brown's departure, but Over the Cap is not projecting that to land.

The Cowboys' fourth-round pick was sent to the San Francisco 49ers in the Trey Lance trade while the fifth-round pick was sent to the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2023 draft day trade to move up and take Eric Scott Jr. and their sixth-round pick was sent to the Houston Texans in the Brandin Cooks trade. - Nick Harris



Jan. 23 – Jordan Morgan mocked to Dallas at No. 24

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network and Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN have both released the first editions of their respective 2024 mock drafts, and each have the Dallas Cowboys selecting Arizona offensive tackle Jordan Morgan with the No. 24 overall selection in the first round.

A 6-foot-5, 325-pounder with 35 starts over four years with the Wildcats, Morgan was named a first-team All-Pac 12 member after starting all 12 games at left tackle this past season. His 2,153 snaps at left tackle over three seasons could give the Cowboys an NFL-ready option if they choose to move on from Tyron Smith with his impending free agency.

A young duo of Tyler Smith and Morgan on the left side of the offensive line could be one of the better young tandems in the league considering Smith's second-team All-Pro season in 2023 and Morgan's elite pass protection ability that saw him allow just two sacks and 16 pressures as a senior. - Nick Harris


Jan. 23 – Linebacker Prospects Showcasing in Frisco

The Dallas Cowboys front office will benefit from another detailed look at intriguing linebacker prospects this week with the upcoming East/West Shrine Bowl coming to Frisco. It's no secret that the Cowboys defense could use some capable talent at the second level after fighting through depth issues in 2023.

Leading the excitement around the class is Edgerrin Cooper (Texas A&M), who will showcase a diverse skillset for the East. Cooper was one of two off-ball linebackers in the SEC this past season to tally at least eight sacks. He did not play in Texas A&M's bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft process, making this one of his final opportunities to raise his draft stock as a potential first-rounder.

Other notable linebacker prospects that will be attending include Curtis Jacobs (Penn State), Kalen DeLoach (Florida State), Darius Muasau (UCLA), and Steele Chambers (Ohio State). All of which are expected to hear their name called on draft weekend as true linebackers. Kyle Youmans


Jan. 23 – A potential center option in the second round?

As the draft process starts to ramp up for the Dallas Cowboys, fans are also starting to pin some potential prospects to the Cowboys in fan mock drafts on social media. One of the more popular choices amongst Cowboys fans is Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson in the second round with the No. 56 overall selection.

Powers-Johnson – the Rimington Trophy winner for the nation's best center in 2023 – allowed just one pressure and zero sacks on 829 snaps played at center this past season for the Ducks. Prior to 2023, the Utah native saw snaps at four of the five offensive line positions: LG, C, RG, RT.

A late second round projection going into late January, Powers-Johnson will have the opportunity to increase his stock at the Senior Bowl next week in Mobile and at the combine in late February. I think it'd be a steal at this juncture to be able to get Powers-Johnson at No. 56 considering the center options in the draft and how far teams might reach in the second round or late in the first round to grab one.

Whether the Cowboys decide to move on from Tyler Biadasz this offseason with his impending free agency or not, Powers-Johnson could be an option to add depth in the interior of the offensive line. It also wouldn't hurt to have former Oregon teammate T.J. Bass alongside him after Bass was easily the lone bright spot for the Cowboys' 2023 rookie class. - Nick Harris