Best players available for Cowboys after superb Day 1 of NFL Draft

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The first round of the 2024 NFL Draft is in the books and the Dallas Cowboys hit an absolute home run. They wisely traded out of the No. 24 overall pick, moving back to the No. 29 selection in a trade with the Detroit Lions that gave them the No. 73 overall pick in round three.

Despite weighing offers for the 29th pick, the Cowboys stayed put and selected Oklahoma tackle Tyler Guyton, who will play left tackle. Guyton is raw, but the pick patches a major hole on Dallas' offensive line after Tyron Smith was allowed to leave in free agency.

Now saddled with three picks on day two -- No. 56, No. 73, and No. 87 -- the Cowboys have the necessary ammo to completely repair their roster after they struck out in free agency. This is when the draft gets interesting as there is still a vault of talented players remaining.

These players in particular should be on Dallas' radar Friday night.

Best players available for Cowboys after Day 1 of NFL Draft

Junior Colson, LB, Michigan

Colson might be the best linebacker in this class and he should hear his named called relatively early on Friday night. The Athletic's Dane Brugler projected Colson to the Eagles at No. 50 overall in his final mock draft, so the former Wolverine should be within Dallas' range at pick No. 56. Over his final two season at Michigan, Colson racked up 196 tackles and eight tackles for loss. He's a true middle linebacker who packs a punch and loves getting downhill against the run.

Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

Many analysts believed Powers-Johnson was in play for the Cowboys after they moved back to the 29th pick. Arguably the best center in the draft next to Duke's Graham Barton, Powers-Johnson posted a 90.6 pass-block grade and 85.6 run-blocking grade last season at Oregon. Dallas might think it has its starting center already on the roster but Powers-Johnson would give them a stud from jump street.

Zach Frazier, G/C, West Virginia

Frazier was mentioned by the Dallas Morning News as a possible Cowboys target. He plays with a tenacious physicality that Dallas sorely needs to improve its running game. Frazier isn't an elite athlete, but he does what he can to climb to the second level. He might be gone by the time the Cowboys pick in round two, but he would be a fantastic follow-up to the Guyton selection.

Jonathon Brooks, RB, Texas

At this rate, it'd be shocking if the Cowboys don't draft Brooks. NFL Network insider Jane Slater scared fans early Thursday when she reported that Dallas could target Brooks in the first round (!) if they traded back. One of those things came true. Luckily, they didn't take the Brooks bait, as the Texas phenom is still available. Considered the best running back in the draft, Brooks would give Dallas a dynamic playmaker who can win inside and out at the next level.

Edgerrin Cooper, LB, Texas A&M

The Cowboys have to address linebacker in the draft, right? Though they signed Eric Kendricks, the room leaves a lot to be desired. Unlike Colson, Cooper is a supreme athlete. He has the best change-of-direction of any LB in this class and he's equally comfortable taking on blocks at the line of scrimmage as he is blitzing. In his final year at Texas A&M, Cooper logged the third-highest run stop percentage in the country. He'd be a fantastic fit under new defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

It'd be wrong not to include at least one wide receiver. Coleman garnered first-round buzz early Thursday, but didn't hear his name called. In terms of explosiveness and leaping ability, Coleman is second to none among WRs in this class, but his lack of twitch and agility shows up on tape. He could struggle to separate against press coverage but his physical intangibles and profile as an X receiver would give CeeDee Lamb a proper sidekick.

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