Setting the year one expectations for Cowboys third-round draft pick Cooper Beebe

The new car smell hasn’t even worn off the Dallas Cowboys 2024 draft class, but already people are making plans. With a haul featuring three players with a good chance to make an immediate impact, it’s hard not to feel excited. And considering their previous draft class had a very under-performing rookie season, this new crop feels like a breath of fresh air. Over the weekend, we examined what the upcoming season might look like for first-round pick Tyler Guyton and second-round pick Marshawn Kneeland. Today, we’ll discuss third-round selection Cooper Beebe and project what we might see during his rookie year.

Beebe was the third-round draft pick the Cowboys received from the Detroit Lions when they traded back in the first round. He’s a bonus pick the team didn’t have entering the draft, so already that’s a great start. But as Jimmy Johnson once said about the Great Train Robbery that was the Herschel Walker trade, it’s not the pick that matters, it’s who you use the pick on. And the Cowboys got themselves a good one with Beebe.

The team’s new offensive lineman had an interesting journey as he signed with Kansas State with the plan to play defensive tackle. The coaching staff quickly changed those plans and moved him to the other side of the ball. The change was not a sudden one as Beebe played both on offense and defense in high school. He started his Wildcats career playing tackle, first on the right side in 2020 and then on the left the following year. Over the past two seasons, he’s played left guard and it’s suited him well as he was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year both seasons.

What jumps out about Beebe is his quickness. A guy weighing 322 pounds doesn’t typically run a 5.03 40-yard dash (93 percentile). His footwork is impressive and he’s always in good positions to gain leverage and secure his blocks. His athleticism is why he handled the edge in his first two years in college. Throw in that type of movement for an interior player and suddenly you have a freight train that can pave some running lanes. Beebe is a force in space who can pop smaller defenders off their feet and he doesn’t stop moving until the play is over.

His length, or lack thereof, has made him more fitted to play inside. Short arms mean defenders will get into his chest and that will cause some real battles for him. He holds up well in those battles. He packs a good punch and uses his weight to move bodies. Beebe possesses all the intangibles you love in offensive linemen. He’s cerebral and very aware of his responsibilities. He’s an insanely hard worker, a high-character guy, and plays with a mean streak. He’s a coach’s favorite, which is why it’s not surprising he was a team captain his final two seasons at Kansas State.

Despite not having any experience in college, nobody appears to have any qualms about him becoming the Cowboys’ new starting center, replacing Tyler Biadasz who left in free agency. And why would anyone? The guy’s excelled everywhere he’s played. Standing in his way is third-year UDFA Brock Hoffman. Second-year UDFA T.J. Bass might also be in the mix if he can learn the center position. Neither of these undrafted players is a huge obstacle for Beebe in a training camp battle.

If Hoffman has a good showing, Beebe initially might find himself working with the second team. And that might relegate him to the team’s top backup guard option should Zack Martin or Tyler Smith miss time. But eventually, he’ll start to feel more comfortable and once he gains hold of the starting center position, he’ll never look back.

Projection: 13 games played, 7 games started with an overall B- performance grade.


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