Cowboys may be royally screwed in first round thanks to troubling NFL Draft rumor

NFL Draft Rumors: Cowboys may be royally screwed in first round
Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys
Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

The 2024 NFL Draft has finally arrived. The Dallas Cowboys executed a perfect pre-draft smokescreen last year. Seemingly every expert had them taking a tight end in round one. This saw the Buffalo Bills jump in front of them to take Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid.

This year is a much different story. It's almost a forgone conclusion that the Cowboys will select an offensive linemen with their first pick. Jerry Jones all but confirmed this in Dallas' pre-draft press, where he was very complimentary of this year's OL class.

There's a wealth of offensive tackle talent, so the Cowboys should be able to get a readymade prospect at the No. 24 pick. Or will they?

A litany of rumors swirled on Wednesday. Many of them pertained to potential movement atop the draft and QB interest. In a concerning development for Dallas, though, draft expert Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network is hearing that multiple teams want to trade up for an offensive tackle.

Cowboys may be screwed in first round of 2024 NFL Draft

This is a concerning development for the Cowboys. Down a fourth-round pick and without a fifth-round selection until the end of the round, they don't have the flexibility to move up. If anything, they should trade back to net an another day three pick.

In no order, the consensus top tackles are Joe Alt, Taliese Fuaga, Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Troy Fautanu, J.C. Latham, Amarius Mims, Graham Barton, Tyler Guyton and Jordan Morgan. They're all potential first-round picks, but it's unlikely that all of them are gone by the Cowboys' pick at No. 24 overall.

However, that's far from an ideal scenario. Let's look at it through this lens: Would you rather Dallas get the seventh- or eighth-ranked tackle or top-ranked center or guard? Through troubling, this rumor could turn into a blessing in disguise, as it could allow Graham Barton, who projects as a center at the next level, to fall into the Cowboys' lap.

If Barton is taken before No. 24, Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson could become a trade-back target. It all hinges on how the board falls. Luckily, the Cowboys have an ace in the hole in left guard Tyler Smith, whom they're more than comfortable kicking out to left tackle, where he played as a rookie.

If the 2023 season was any indicator, though, Smith can become the game's best left guard before long. Among guards who played at least 900 snaps, Smith allowed the third-fewest pressures (17), second-fewest sacks (one) and sixth-fewest hurries, per PFF (subscription required). He also ranked second at the position with a 98.4 pass-blocking efficiency and earned Second-Team All-Pro honors.

Smith can certainly get the job done at left tackle, but in a perfect world he continues his development at guard and becomes the next Larry Allen. That might not be in the cards if this rumor holds true.

More Cowboys news and analysis