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Draft Central | 2024

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Eatman: Guyton pick checked off too many boxes


FRISCO, Texas – Jerry Jones didn't just say once in the press conference following the first round Thursday night, but then said it again.

Jones referred to the Tyler Guyton selection as a "sexy" pick, stating that getting a left tackle such as Guyton, someone that is 6-7, with tons of upside who can develop into an elite player brings a different level of excitement.

Sorry to say this, but very few people have ever really said that about the center.

To be honest, I'm not saying I actually agree with this philosophy. Personally, I like the idea of taking the No. 1 player at a position as opposed to getting the seventh-best tackle, in this case.

But let's think about what Jerry Jones actually said. He's talking about "sexy" picks, and he was able to get one – plus land a third-round pick because of the trade-back.

I was probably right there with a lot of you guys who were wanting them to take Graham Barton, who surprisingly was still on the board at No. 24. But, at the end of the day, the Cowboys didn't view Barton that far ahead – if at all – than a group of five players that also included Guyton.

So with Barton and the center position lacking the excitement from the War Room, plus the opportunity to land a third-round pick in a trade back with the Lions, that was really all that Jerry and Stephen probably needed to pull this off.

It was a risky move, but one that we've seen Jerry and Stephen do in the past. They moved two spots down in 2002 with Roy Williams on the board and still got him and a third-round pick. They moved two spots down in 2021 with Micah Parsons on the board and got a third-round pick. Both times they still got the player they wanted.

This time around, they had four players they liked, and four picks to go before their next pick. Is it really possible they could lose all four players on their board?

Well, they nearly did. One of the guys they liked was Jordan Morgan, the tackle from Arizona. He went No. 25 to Green Bay, followed by Barton going off the board to Tampa Bay at No. 26. Then, when Darius Robinson was picked at No. 27 by Arizona, it got really dicey for the Cowboys, who saw three targets leave the board in three picks. But Kansas City has been linked to receivers for a while and when the Chiefs moved up to No. 28, the Cowboys felt some relief. They picked speedy receiver Xavier Worthy, leaving Guyton on the table for the Cowboys to pick.

When it gets down to it, it's all about checking off the boxes. And for the Cowboys, especially Jerry Jones, they were able to do that a few times, in whatever order:

  • Draft a player an elite position that also fills a need – check!
  • Pick up more draft capital, including a third-round pick – check!
  • Land a talented player with tremendous upside, plus the ability to start right away!

And I'm sure there are more "checks" to be had, but those three seem to be the biggest. The Cowboys started the day with seven picks in this draft. They've already taken one that they really like that should be able to plug right in and start at left tackle.

And the best part for them – they've still got seven picks left on the table.

We'll see what happens on Friday but it already seems like a winning formula, based on what they're trying to accomplish.

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