Cowboys chances of drafting stud prospect with local ties just increased dramatically

May 14, 2022; Frisco, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy (L) talks with vice
May 14, 2022; Frisco, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy (L) talks with vice / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone is waiting with bated breath to see if the Dallas Cowboys go all-in during free agency. There's some skepticism that Jerry Jones won't fulfill his promise, but the NFL Draft presents another opportunity for the front office to add immediate impact players.

It's well-documented that the Cowboys' 2023 draft class (so far) is a disaster. That's not to say the group won't come good, but the early returns aren't promising. In a vacuum, Dallas didn't draft a single impact player last April.

That needs to change in a big way this year. A great draft class can take the Cowboys' already-stacked roster over the top. With the draft two months away, familiar names are being mocked to Dallas at pick No. 24 overall and in the later rounds.

Running back is a position the Cowboys need to draft relatively early. Last year, they waited until round six to take Deuce Vaughn and it didn't pan out. The first round is obviously out of the equation, but a potential second or third-round prospect with local ties is suddenly back in play.

Texas running back Jonathan Brooks is expected to be cleared by training camp as he recovers from a torn ACL suffered in November.

Cowboys chances of drafting Texas RB Jonathan Brooks just increased significantly

Before the injury, Brooks was penciled in as the No. 1 RB prospect. Some analysts have Florida State's Trey Benson just ahead of Brooks, but this update could propel the Texas phenom back to the summit of the rankings.

Either way, the Cowboys chances of drafting Brooks have increased dramatically since there's seemingly less risk involved with the player. It would make little sense for Dallas to select Brooks if he wasn't expected to be ready for training camp. The team needs a running back that can provide an immediate spark to the offense.

Now, the Cowboys could take Brooks at No. 58 overall and nobody would bat an eye. The idea of drafting a RB coming off a torn ACL would be a tough sell for fans, but Brooks was a fringe first-round prospect before the injury. We just witnessed Breece Hall put together an excellent 2023 season for the Jets coming off ACL surgery.

Brooks isn't on the level of Bijan Robinson or Jahmyr Gibbs, who both were top-15 picks last year, but few are. He's widely projected to be a three-down starter and a smashing success in the NFL. The Texas flavor makes him an even more intriguing prospect.

Even with this update, it's possible Brooks slides to the Cowboys. Benson and Michigan's Blake Corum could come off the board before Brooks. Of course, Dallas could simply wait until round three to take Oregon's Bucky Irving or Notre Dame's Audric Estime, but neither player projects as a full-time back.

If Brooks gets cleared for training camp, it stands to reason he'll be all systems go for Week 1 come September. That's great news for the Cowboys.

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