Reviewing the Dallas Cowboys depth chart after the 2024 NFL Draft

The hype for this year’s draft was as big as ever and for Cowboys fans it was one of the more anticipated drafts in recent memory after a quiet offseason. The team also added to the roster through the undrafted free agent market which we will review as it stands at the time of writing. Let’s review each position with the new additions and where some of the potential weaknesses remain.


Some fans held a level of expectation that the front office would draft a quarterback in this year’s draft, but in reality that wasn’t ever really going to be the case. Trey Lance was acquired in a trade last year in return for this year’s fourth-round pick, so theoretically they did use a draft pick to take a quarterback.

Dak Prescott stays locked as the Cowboys starting signal-caller and leader of the offense, the only remaining factor is his impending contract situation. Dak’s contract likely gets done before the season starts as the Cowboys front office has a history of getting things done during training camp. In terms of depth at the position, the only question that’s left is how far has Lance come along in the last year with his passing and technique, and is that enough to earn him the backup role over Cooper Rush.

Running back

There was huge expectation the Cowboys would draft a running back on Day 2. When that didn’t happen that expectation was heightened for them to draft a runner on Day 3. The only addition to the position has been in the UDFA market with Nate Peat from Missouri. Last year, Peat rushed for 317 yards and scored three touchdowns. His best season was in 2022 when took 100 handoffs for 438 yards and scored three total touchdowns. He’s thick-framed with lower body mass that gives him a good low center of gravity. Essentially he’s a tough downhill runner that has good speed to bounce outside. But he’ll competing in an obvious running back committee approach this year with Ezekiel Elliott expected to return. Peat will likely be a practice squad player to add depth.

The main rotation looks to be Rico Dowdle with Zeke specializing in short-yardage and goal-line carries. There is also Royce Freeman and Malik Davis to add to the rotation and also Deuce Vaughn if he can find a role given his small size. And, of course, we can’t forget Hunter Luepke who can take rushes as well as be a reliable pass catcher out the backfield. Snoop Conner will also fight for a practice squad position.

Wide receiver

The Cowboys have CeeDee Lamb who finished top of the league in receptions last year and second in receiving yards. That puts him in elite status but he is currently playing on the final year of his rookie contract. Brandin Cooks is set to continue his role as the second receiver, but beyond that the depth gets a little hazy.

In the sixth round, the Cowboys used pick 216 to take Ryan Flournoy from Southeast Missouri State. His combine numbers are pretty impressive – a 40-yard dash time of 4.44 seconds (75th percentile), a vert of 39½” (89th percentile), a broad jump of 132”(94th percentile) and a bench press of 19 reps (83rd percentile).

In the UDFA additions, the team added Cam Johnson from Northwestern and Corey Crooms from Minnesota. Both will fight to get on the active roster that has Jalen Tolbert, Jalen Brooks, KaVontae Turpin, Jalen Cropper and David Durden all looking to lock down reps. We know what Turpin can do, Tolbert has hopefully developed further to become something more tangible on the offense. But the bigger questions come at depth beyond that and how Flournoy will fit into the plans.

Tight end

This is the Jake Ferguson show. He had a breakout season in 2024. Luke Schoonmaker now has a year under his belt and it will be interesting to see how he has developed. Peyton Hendershot was kept quiet last year so he comes into this year with concerns. John Stephens Jr. was raising fan’s hopes last season before getting shut down for the year. Maybe we get to see him flash again this year and take another step toward playing a regular season game. The team still has another forgotten name in Princeton Fant.

As expected, Dallas didn’t add to the position in the draft but did add names during the UDFA period. Two additions have been made with Brevyn Spann-Ford from Minnesota, which is a great value addition and also Alec Holler from UCF. For now the depth looks to remain the same as last year with the only wildcard being Stephens Jr. and how he’s recovered from last year’s ACL injury.

Offensive line

Now things get interesting. The Cowboys traded back in round one and believe it or not, almost traded back for a second time with Kansas City. They held firm, however, and selected offensive tackle Tyler Guyton from Oklahoma. The projection here is he will play left tackle having already played as the blindside blocker for a left-handed quarterback. He did play some left tackle at Oklahoma as well but one thing is very obvious with Guyton and that’s size and athleticism.

With the trade down the Cowboys managed to collect an extra third-round pick and with that pick they selected Cooper Beebe. This pick had the biggest positive response and it looks as though Beebe will compete for the starting center position this year.

In the seventh round, the Cowboys used pick 233 to select offensive tackle Nathan Thomas from Louisiana-Lafayette. We have to expect this to be a depth piece and he will compete for a backup role against Chuma Edoga, Matt Waletzko and Earl Bostick.

The initial prediction for the starting five offensive linemen is Guyton at left tackle, Tyler Smith at guard, then Beebe at center with Zack Martin and Terence Steele on the right.

Interior defensive line

Surprisingly the only prospect at defensive tackle taken was with their final pick. With pick 244 the Cowboys took big Auburn nose tackle Justin Rogers. He will look to play as the big defender to clog up the A-gaps on run defense and be the Johnathan Hankins’ replacement. The only other addition at defensive tackle was in the UDFA pool where they added Denzel Daxon from Illinois.

Osa Odighizuwa remains the starting 3-tech with Mazi Smith now promoted to the starting nose tackle position. Carl Davis is a depth player and the expectation will be Davis and Daxon are both fighting for the same reserve role.

Edge rusher

The Cowboys pick up a fantastic defensive end in the second round when they selected Marshawn Kneeland from Western Michigan. A tough tackler who’s also very proficient at stopping the run. Byron Vaughns from Baylor also signed as a UDFA after the draft.

DeMarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons are set to be the starting defensive ends with Kneeland and Sam Williams battling for the backup reps. The expectation should be Kneeland is ahead of Villiami Fehoko and Durell Johnson already. The big question here is where does Chauncey Golston play this year, and does he have a role this season in Dallas?


Linebacker was seen as a huge need this year along with finding players who can stop the run. They picked a super football intelligent off-ball linebacker at pick 87 with Marist Liufau from Notre Dame. He helped continue the successful run of players the Cowboys had picked in Day 1 and 2. He will now have chance to learn from savvy veteran Eric Kendricks.

Damone Clark and DeMarvion Overshown will play next to Kendricks as the starters and Liufau will play as the next rotational linebacker and in obvious passing situations. Looking to add more depth to the position, the Cowboys also signed Jason Johnson from UCF and Brock Mogenson from South Dakota as UDFA additions.


Cowboys fans had to wait a long time at the start of Day 3 to hear the next pick. Finally at pick 174 the Cowboys took Caelen Carson from Wake Forest. He adds depth to the cornerback position as well as assistance on special teams.

Trevon Diggs will return after missing the season with an ACL injury and will get to play next to record-setting defensive back DaRon Bland. Jourdan Lewis will continue his role as nickel-back with Eric Scott rounding out the depth. The big question for the position is whether Nahshon Wright will be on the roster as the start of Week 1.


This position was pretty well solidified coming into the draft with Malik Hooker and Donovan Wilson as the starting tandem. Markquese Bell is set to return to his natural position. It will be interesting to see where and how much playing time Israel Mukuamu will get this season. The team still has Sheldrick Redwine to add more depth, but it will be Juanyeh Thomas who will interest fans the most in terms of development and how far up the depth chart he can climb this year.

To add more strength and competition to safety position the team also added three safeties when the UDFA market opened. They signed Emany Johnson from Nevada, Julius Wood from East Carolina and Josh DeBerry from Texas A&M. All will hope to compete for a practice squad position this year or offer snaps on special teams.

Special teams

Nothing was added to the special team positions in the draft. Apart from a few names already mentioned who will look to fill roles on kick and punt plays. But the key positions will be a repeat from last season and you have to ask the question whether bringing another kicker in for competition is really worth the effort when we all know Brandon Aubrey is now Mr. Reliable.


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