Pivot point: Draft’s Round 3 real area of opportunity for Cowboys

Chronic needs have a way of taking some of the mystery out of a draft. Teams with glaring and obvious needs don’t have much of a choice on draft day. Free agency is typically dried up at that point with most starting level players long gone. It’s draft picks or bust for these teams.

The Cowboys find themselves in just this situation. Enormous needs on the offensive line make it a virtual lock in Round 1. Needs at running back make it popular pick in Round 2. Jonathon Brooks and Trey Benson seem to be the favorite picks at 56 based on most mock drafts. It’s not really until the third round where paths start to diverge.

The third round promises to be everything the first two rounds are not (or so it seems). The Cowboys desperately need to add a starting caliber defensive tackle in the mix and can’t afford to let it go unfilled too much longer. Linebacker is a position the Cowboys have scouted heavily in the pre-draft process and many of those players are expected to go in second or third round.

Receiver is thought to be a strength of the 2024 NFL draft and it won’t be long before WR is a major issue for the Cowboys. A good bargain could fall into their laps if they play the third round opportunistically.

Assuming the Cowboys draft an offensive tackle prospect in the first round, center could be on the table here. The draft boasts good OC prospects at multiple levels so Dallas could likely find a great option in the third.

The bulk of the top safety prospects are expected to go in or around the third round in 2024 and Dallas’ new defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer, may find one to his liking.

Even cornerback could be on the table. The Cowboys have two of the best in the league, but they lack depth behind the top three. Adding a mid-rounder here makes sense given the Cowboys injury history at the CB position over the last two years.

The third round appears to be a major pivot point for the Cowboys and as long as the Cowboys attack their needs in the first two rounds, they would be in position to handle the third round opportunistically.

Ideally, of course, all the rounds would be looked at opportunistically but that doesn’t seem possible given the status of the roster.  The third round should be the fun round for Cowboys fans because just about anything could happen.


Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire