The Dallas Cowboys seemed like surefire bet to come away with an interior offensive linemen with one of their first four picks.
Of course, that was contingent on how the board fell and it seemingly didn't fall in their favor as three of their first four picks were of the defensive player variety, with their lone offensive investment coming in the form of Michigan tight end Luke Schoonmaker at No. 58 overall in the second round.
It wasn't until the fifth round when Dallas drafted Asim Richards out of North Carolina that they added an offensive linemen. Richards largely played tackle in Chapel Hill, but he projects as a guard; potentially the Cowboys future starter at left guard if he develops at an ideal pace.
With Tyron Smith back, the Cowboys starting line will most likely be Smith at left tackle, Tyler Smith at left guard, Tyler Biadasz at center, Zack Martin at right guard and Terence Steele, assuming he's recovered from ACL surgery, at right tackle.
That's totally fine, but the unit desperately needs some depth after Dallas bypassed drafting a potential starter with their first four picks. With that, here are three veteran free agents the Cowboys should already have on the phone.
3 veteran guards Cowboys must sign after 2023 NFL Draft
3. Dalton Risner
The Cowboys would do well to sign Risner, who's a starting-caliber guard in the league with 62 career starts over four seasons. In 2022, Risner posted a pass-blocking grade above 70.0 for the second year in a row and his 65.7 grade in pass-protection on true pass sets finished 22nd among guards, according to PFF.
The caveat with Risner is he might command a hefty salary. Perhaps the former Broncos second-round pick misjudged the OL market, but there's very few FA linemen -- let alone guards -- with his level of starting experience.
Pro Football Focus projects Risner to get $8.25 million per year and $20 million guaranteed over four years. Suffice it to say the Cowboys would hang up the phone immediately if he made those demands, but maybe Jerry Jones can convince the 27-year-old to take a team-friendly deal with the guarantee he'll log significant snaps in the event one of Dallas' starters (likely Tyron Smith) goes down with injury.