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Top Dallas Cowboys needs in 2024 NFL Draft

Dallas Cowboys, NFL Draft

The Dallas Cowboys are fresh off another ugly end to a season, losing to the Green Bay Packers in blowout fashion in the NFL Wild Card Playoffs.

Despite owner Jerry Jones indicating that Dallas would go all in this offseason, Dallas heads into the 2024 NFL Draft with a ton of needs on both sides of the ball. They were the least-active team during free agency. Add in the fact that the ‘Boys lost several starters on both sides of the ball, and there’s a lot of work to be done here.

If the Cowboys are going to meet their expectations of competing for a Super Bowl title this coming season, they’ll need to absolutely ace the draft. Here, we look at the top-five Cowboys needs in the annual event later this month.

Related: 2024 Dallas Cowboys mock draft, full seven-round version

5. Center

Jackson Powers-Johnson NFL Draft
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys lost former Pro Bowler and starting center Tyler Biadasz to the division-rival Washington Commanders in NFL free agency. As of right now, 2022 undrafted free agent Brock Hoffman is slated to start at center in front of Dak Prescott. He has all of two starts under his belt.

One of the issues when it comes to Dallas’ salary cap situation is an inability to actually retain core free agents. Biadasz was just that for Dallas before landing a three-year, $29.25 million contract in Washington. That was not an unreasonable ask. It will also now require the Cowboys to potentially go need over value.

  • Possible Dallas Cowboys draft targets: Jackson Powers-Johnson (Oregon), Dylan McMahon (North Carolina State), Tanor Bortolini (Wisconsin)

Related: Ranking the top prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft

4. Defensive tackle

Dallas Cowboys, Kris Jenkins, NFL Draft
Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Two youngsters in that of Osa Odighizuwa and Mazi Smith are set to start at defensive tackle for the Cowboys next season. This comes after Dallas gave up 1,900 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground in 2023. It was absolutely a weak link for Mike McCarthy’s squad.

Sure, Odighizuwa and Smith have room to grow. But in order to compete with the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers in the NFC next season, the Cowboys need to be better against the run. This isn’t even an open question right now.

  • Possible Dallas Cowboys draft targets: Johnny Newton (Illinois), Kris Jenkins (Michigan), Leonard Taylor (Miami)

Related: Could Dallas Cowboys star CeeDee Lamb hold out?

3. Linebacker

Tommy Eichenberg
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Signing former All-Pro Eric Kendricks in NFL free agency will help Dallas over the short term. Sure, he’s not the same player he was with the Minnesota Vikings. But he knows defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer’s scheme to a T dating back to their days together in the Twin Cities.

Even then, there is a need for depth and young blood at linebacker in Dallas. Acquiring a potential starter in the mid-rounds to go with Damone Clark and DeMarvion Overshown would make sense. That’s especially true with Overshown having missed his entire rookie season due to a torn ACL after the ‘Boys made him a third-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • Possible Dallas Cowboys draft targets: Payton Wilson (North Carolina State), Jaylan Ford (Texas), Tommy Eichenberg (Ohio State)

Related: Updated 2024 NFL mock draft

2. Safety

Kamren Kinchens, NFL Draft, Dallas Cowboys
Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Is Malik Hooker the long-term solution at free safety for the Cowboys? We’re not too sure. While Donovan Wilson has played well at the other safety position, the same question exists when it comes to him.

Dallas has the cornerbacks needed to succeed moving forward. But the idea of adding a potential Pro Bowler to the mix at one of the safety positions early in the draft is something Jerry Jones and Co. should seriously consider. There are a few nice options.

  • Possible Dallas Cowboys draft targets: Tyler Nubin (Minnesota), Kamren Kinchens (Miami), Tykee Smith (Georgia)

Related: Top running back prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft

1. Running back

Jonathon Brooks, NFL Draft
Credit: Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

Tony Pollard did not perform extremely well at RB1 for Dallas following the departure of Ezekiel Elliott ahead of the 2023 season. He put up just over 1,000 yards while averaging 4.0 yards per rush. That’s not necessarily an accomplishment in today’s NFL with a 17-game schedule.

Even then, letting him bolt for the Tennessee Titans in NFL free agency creates a major hole in the backfield for Dallas. The team has been linked to the aforementioned Elliott and others in free agency. But it will still need to add a running back in the 2024 NFL Draft. After all, Rico Dowdle (361 yards) is Dallas’ leading returning rusher.

  • Possible Dallas Cowboys draft targets: Jonathon Brooks (Texas), Trey Benson (Florida State), Audric Estime (Notre Dame)
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