With the NFL Draft on the way this week, fans are getting excited for what the future of their franchises could look like. The moves that are made this week could either set a team up for years of success, or set a team back a few years.

The Dallas Cowboys have been on both sides of that coin. They have had draft classes that set them up for playoff level teams, and they have gone from a playoff contender to struggling seasons when draft picks don't work out the way the team intended.

Its hard to predict what kind of draft the Cowboys will have in 2024, because its really hard to predict what the team is planning to do with their first round pick.

While the first round doesn't completely win or lose a draft, its usually viewed as the most important pick for a franchise in a draft. Those players get paid more, they are eligible for longer contracts, and the franchise views their presence different than later round picks. They're tone setters for the rest of the offseason, and for the upcoming season.

Right now, mock drafts have the Cowboys all over the board in the first round. They have the 24th overall pick, and are being projected to take everything from an offensive tackle pick to a wide receiver pick. There's also a really good chance that the Cowboys could trade their pick, but not to move up to get a better pick. They actually could move back and try to add more picks in later rounds.

The only thing we really feel confident about with the Cowboys first round pick is that they won't be taking a running back at #24. But they will be shopping for a running back during the draft.

Probably in the second or third round, the Cowboys will try to select one of the better running back options in this draft. That includes a possibility that could make a lot of Texas-based Cowboys fans excited...Texas running back Jonathon Brooks.

BYU v Texas
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While Brooks is considered the best running back in this class, he's coming off a torn ACL that happened late last season. He will probably miss most of this coming NFL season (if not all of it) while he recovers from that injury. Then you have questions about his recovery, and if he will be the same player he was before he was hurt.

Another running back target in the second round for the Cowboys could be Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright.

Tennessee v Kentucky
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Taking Wright in the second round could be considered a "reach" for many, but with the Cowboys having a big need at running back, and Wright being one of the highest graded runners in the class, they might have to pull the trigger in the second round to secure Wright.

Wright has elite speed, elite explosiveness, and carries the highest running back grade for all back prospects in the SEC.

However, the Cowboys could gamble and wait until the third round. If they do, and Wright isn't there, the next option could be Florida State running back Trey Benson.

2023 ACC Championship - Louisville v Florida State
Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images

Benson is rated by some as being a better prospect than Wright, but others have him as the 5th best running back behind other runners. Its hard to project where Benson (or really any of these backs will go) because of team needs, and how teams value the running back position in today's NFL. We know the Cowboys will be trying to leave the draft with at least one rookie running back, Benson would make that dream come true.

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