Cowboys draft analysis: How ‘sexy pick’ Tyler Guyton fits in Dallas’ offensive line

After doing little in free agency to improve their roster, the Dallas Cowboys finally got into the action of upgrading for the 2024 season by selecting Oklahoma tackle Tyler Guyton in the first round of NFL draft on Thursday.

The Cowboys made the pick after trading back in the first round with the Detroit Lions, moving from 24 to 29 in the first round. They also added draft capital with an extra third-round pick in this year’s draft while giving up a seventh-round pick in 2025.

It was a pick that fills an immediate need after losing left tackle Tyron Smith in free agency to the New York Jets.

Guyton, who owner Jerry Jones called a sexy pick because of his upside and athleticism, should step right in while also allowing the Cowboys to keep 2022 first-round pick Tyler Smith at left guard, where he made the Pro Bowl last season.

On a day that saw an record six quarterbacks go in the top 12 picks and a run on offensive tackles early, the draft ultimately fell just right for the Cowboys to have some flexibility.

The Cowboys had four coveted options on the board at slot 24 in Guyton, Duke center Graham Barton, Arizona tackle Jordan Morgan and Missouri defensive end Darius Robinson.

But that’s when the phone began to ring.

The Cowboys were working four trades at the same time on four different phones with everyone feeding owner Jerry Jones the offers.

The Lions were the last one the call and came up with the best deal for a Cowboys team that was without a fourth-round pick due to acquisition of quarterback Trey Lance from the San Francisco 49ers last August.

Jones said the depth in the offensive line worked in the Cowboys favor and they just had to be patient.

“Obviously, everybody’s juicy about the top picks,” Jones said. “But if you can do that when you’re lacking fourth round pick so that you can pick up a pick by trading down and yet still accomplish what you’d like to do with a deep draft in the offensive line and fill a need. That did work for us.”

Barton, Morgan and Robinson went off the board before the Cowboys picked at 29 and they got calls to trade back again.

But they didn’t want to lose Guyton.

The Cowboys did themselves one better by netting an extra third round pick with the savvy move and they still were able to get their guy and fill a need.

Guyton, a Texas native who played in high school in the Austin suburb of Manor, said his heart dropped when the Cowboys traded down at 24.

But he finally realized a dream come true by being picked by his favorite team and getting to replace childhood idol Tyron Smith at left tackle.

In giving breaking the news to Guyton on the draft call, Jerry Jones said: “You are no longer a Sooner, you are a Dallas Cowboy. We are proud to have you.”

Guyton’s response: “Oh my God. Oh my God.”

Guyton initially met with the Cowboys at NFL Combine and spent more time with them at the Oklahoma Pro Day.

“Once they started talking to me, I felt like it was it was just bound to happen,” Guyton said. “It fell into into play in the perfect position and I couldn’t ask for a better team to play for. I really love the Cowboys and I really love football and that was all I was dreaming for. We got the job done.”

Cowboys normally don’t miss with the picks of offensive lineman in the first round, going back to the aforementioned Tyron Smith, who was picked ninth in 2011 and made eight trips the Pro Bowl.

Center Travis Frederick was picked 31st in 2013 and made five Pro Bowls before being forced to retire. Left guard Zack Martin was picked 16th in 2014 and has made 9 Pro Bowls. Tyler Smith has since joined the successful run.

Guyton started his career at TCU in 2020 as defensive lineman and tight end. After redshirting his first season, he played in eight games in 2021 before transferring to Oklahoma and moving permanently to offensive tackle, where he made 14 starts the past two seasons.

Guyton played largely right tackle in college and will have to make the transition to left tackle with the Cowboys.

He said Tyron Smith was his idol growing up and he is doing to work hard in attempt to replace him.

Guyton can’t wait to play next Tyler Smith.

“That was the most exciting thing for me,” Guyton said. “I get a guard that’s a dog. I love how he plays. I feel like we’re gonna thrive together. I love his nasty edge and his ferocious mentality. Hopefully I can piggy-back off of him.”

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy has already nicknamed the powerful Smith and Guyton combo: “T-N-T.”

And he no qualms about Guyton’s ability to play left tackle in the NFL after playing right tackle in college because he protected blindside of Oklahoma left handed quarterback Dillon Gabriel in 2023 and allowed no sacks.

The Cowboys also pointed out the Tyron Smith played right tackle in college at Southern California before successfully making the transition to left tackle in the NFL as a rookie.

What excites the Cowboys most about Guyton is his 6-7 frame and outstanding athleticism that come come along with a background as a former high school basketball star.

“This is a sexy pick for an offensive lineman because he’s got a lot of upside,” Jones said. “I’m excited about that.”

On Friday, the Cowboys have picks No. 56 in the second round and No. 73 and 87 in the third round.

Look for them to target a running back and an interior offensive lineman that has flexibility to play guard and center after not getting a center on Thursday.

They finish on Saturday with pick No. 174 in the fifth round, 216 in the sixth round and 233 and 244 in the seventh round.