Cowboys may have just revealed their top choice for the 24th pick

Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys
Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Dallas Cowboys fans have quickly shifted their attention to the 2024 NFL Draft. With Dak Prescott's contract negotiations hitting a snag and the Cowboys reportedly interest in signing Ezekiel Elliott, what other choice do they have?

With left tackle Tyron Smith leaving for the Jets, it's widely assumed the Cowboys will take an offensive linemen in the first round. A tackle is the expected target. Given how deep the class is, there should be a readymade starter available when Dallas picks at No. 24 overall.

What if Dallas throws everyone a curveball and doesn't take an OL in round one? That would be stunning given their track record of drafting offensive linemen early. Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick and Tyler Smith are (or were) among the best players at their respective positions.

In a bit of a pre-draft surprise, though, Cowboys wide receivers coach Robert Prince was in attendance at LSU's pro day. This could mean wideout Brian Thomas Jr. is on Dallas' radar with the 24th pick.

Cowboys could target LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. in first round of 2024 NFL Draft.

This could just be the Cowboys conducting pre-draft due diligence, but it's notable nonetheless that Prince made the trek to Baton Rouge.

Thomas hasn't gotten the attention of the consensus top three receivers in this class -- Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze -- but he's a tantalizing prospect. At 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds with a 4.33 40-yard dash (!), Thomas posseses a rare blend of size and speed. He posted a 9.97 relative athletic score at the Combine, which ranked 10th out of 3063 WRs that have tested since 1987.

Thomas could be an elite vertical threat from day one. In 2023, he caught 12 passes for 502 yards and 10 touchdowns on go-balls alone. He's arguably the best WR in the class tracking and attacking the ball in the air. Look no further than this out-stretched fingertip grab on his first route at LSU's pro day.

Vertical routes might be Thomas' M.O., but he's far from a one-trick pony. He averaged 2.61 yards per route run last season and hauled in 58.3% of his contested-catch opportunities, per Pro Football Focus. He's physical at the point of attack and runs great routes.

There are questions about whether he can be an "alpha" in the NFL, but Dallas already has CeeDee Lamb carrying that torch. What makes Thomas a seamless fit on the Cowboys -- other than his otherworldly talent -- is that he's already proven he can shine as a second option.

It's duly noted the Cowboys need an offensive linemen, but maybe they're content with moving Tyler Smith to left guard and giving T.J. Bass a crack at left guard and promoting fan favorite Brock Hoffman as the starting center. Taking Thomas also wouldn't rule out drafting a linemen in the second round.

Prince's presence at LSU's pro day suggests that anything is on table in the first round.

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