Cowboys revamping of their offensive line in the NFL draft gets major kudos

One thing was certain going into the NFL draft for the Dallas Cowboys. With future Hall of Fame left tackle Tyron Smith and starting center Tyler Biadasz off the roster, offensive line help was paramount going forward. Dallas has had major success finding offensive line talent over the last decade, and what they did in this year’s draft had the potential to be another homerun to use a baseball analogy.

Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus certainly feels that way. After the draft dust settled, he gave what Dallas did in terms of revamping their offensive line a rave review, naming them the second-most improved unit of its kind heading into the 2024 season.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys needed help at multiple spots on their offensive line heading into the NFL draft and used two top-75 selections on the unit. Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton looks set to man the left side of their offensive line, and while he is a bit of a project, having earned a 59.0 PFF pass-blocking grade on true pass sets last season, his athleticism gives him the chance to develop into a future star.

Dallas used a third-round pick on Kansas State’s Cooper Beebe, who earned a 91.8 PFF grade over the past three seasons to rank first among FBS guards, and grabbed Louisiana’s Nathan Thomas in the seventh round.

It was pretty much a given that the Cowboys were going offensive line in the first round. Guyton is a mountain of a man at 6’8 and 322 pounds playing left tackle. Once he gets his hands on a defender it’s over due to his power and the way he keeps his feet moving through the whistle, whether it be a running play or throwing the football. Getting him to fill in the left tackle spot allows the Cowboys to keep Tyler Smith at left guard, where he earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2023.

As McGuinness mentioned, there are some flaws to Guyton’s game. He needs better footwork on a consistent basis and to be better with his hands, which are two essential keys for any offensive lineman. However, with the tools he possesses, Guyton will not only be a Day 1 starter, but if he full develops, he and Smith give quarterback Dak Prescott a wall on his blindside for years to come, assuming he sticks around beyond the upcoming season.

The Cowboys continued their rebuild on Day 2 by picking up guard/center Cooper Beebe. The former Kansas State Wildcat can be described in one word, nasty. Beebe snatches souls with his power and downright brutality, and he’s also very technically sound coming into the league, which is a huge plus.

He’s very mobile for a guy 6’4 and around 330 pounds, and he’s a menace when pulling in the run game and getting to the second level. He’s projected to play center for the Cowboys, which means the interior of their offensive line is in excellent shape with the aforementioned Smith and All-Pro right guard Zack Martin. Beebe has a shot to he one of the steals of this year’s draft.

Dallas wrapped up its offensive line overhaul with Nathan Thomas in the seventh round. It was great value, considering he was looked at as a fourth-rounder by some. Thomas didn’t start playing on the offensive line until he got to Louisiana-Lafayette, but he logged 25 starts at right tackle over the last two seasons and almost 1,800 snaps in college.

Thomas is projected to play guard in the NFL mostly due to his struggles moving laterally, which is a huge flaw playing tackle. However, despite being raw and relatively new to playing on the offensive line, Thomas uses his 6’5, 332-pound frame, huge hands, and 83-inch wingspan to dismantle defenders with ease once he’s engaged. He’s a project, but he also has the potential to be the heir to Martin’s throne at right guard if he reaches his ceiling.


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