Instant analysis: Cowboys draft Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton

It took a little longer than we initially expected, but the Cowboys finally made a selection in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. It was a first round full of twists and turns, with six quarterbacks going in the first 12 picks and no defensive player being drafted in the first 14 picks.

By the time Dallas was on the clock, they had their pick of all the centers in the draft class, as well as several options at tackle. Instead of picking whoever their hearts desired, the Cowboys traded back five spots with the Lions and, ultimately, selected Tyler Guyton out of Oklahoma.

The trade down makes this work

A big part of the grade for this pick comes down to the fact that the Cowboys squeezed some extra value out of it by trading down. There were plenty of mock drafts that had Dallas taking Guyton at 24, so the fact that they moved back and still managed to land him is pretty impressive.

The move is especially savvy given that the Cowboys lacked premium draft capital this year as a result of trading their fourth-round pick for Trey Lance. In their trade with Detroit, the Cowboys netted the 73rd overall pick, which comes towards the beginning of the third round. This now gives them three top 75 picks and four top 90 picks, which is huge.

The Cowboys did have to give up a seventh-round pick next year in this trade, but that seems a small price to pay. They can easily recoup that with a trade down later in this draft, and anticipated compensatory picks next year will also offset the loss. Ultimately, trading down here the way that Dallas did offered an extra inflation to the value of the pick, although the player himself is also worthy of excitement.

Tyler Guyton is a natural fit in Dallas

The last time the Cowboys entered a draft with the 24th overall pick, they took a lineman named Tyler who grew up in Texas, played college ball in Oklahoma, and asked him to play a position he hadn’t played in college. While Dallas didn’t end up picking 24th overall Thursday night, they repeated everything else.

Guyton was born in Manor, Texas and initially played at TCU before transferring to Oklahoma, where he became a productive starter at right tackle. Now, Guyton will be asked to move to left tackle, thus keeping Tyler Smith at left guard.

Guyton does have some experience at left tackle – a total of 70 snaps in three years – but this will ultimately be a new position for him. That said, Guyton has experience serving as his quarterback’s blind side protector: his quarterback with the Sooners was Dillon Gabriel, a southpaw. Guyton will need to relearn how to get in his stance and how to move from the left side, never an easy task, but there is reason for optimism.

Guyton was viewed in this draft as a fairly raw prospect with tons of moldable traits, not unlike Tyler Smith on draft night two years ago. Dane Brugler of The Athletic ranked Guyton as the sixth best tackle and 27th best overall prospect, saying this:

Overall, Guyton is a work in progress in several areas and a steep learning curve should be expected for his rookie season, but he has the athletic tools and fundamental skills to develop into a high-level offensive tackle. He has the talent to play left or right tackle, although his comfort level is clearly on the right side . As long as he stays motivated and healthy, he will continue on an upward trajectory.

Guyton is oozing with upside, and he should form a nice duo with Smith on the left side of the offensive line once he settles into playing left tackle. That, combined with the added value from trading down, made this a very strong first night for the Cowboys’ draft process.


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