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Dallas Cowboys 2024 7-Round NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys Find Next Stud RB

Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen runs vs. Iowa defense
Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) rushes with the football during the third quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Camp Randall Stadium. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys enter the 2024 NFL Draft with four defined needs: left tackle, center, running back and linebacker. 

Now, those needs are not in any order of importance. But if the season started today, those would easily be the four weakest spots on the roster. Dallas hopes they can fill at least three of them during the draft, but that will be challenging, considering they only have three picks inside the top 170 selections.

So, what might Round 1 look like for the Cowboys? Here is our seven-round mock draft for the Cowboys with less than a week to go:

>> READ: Full 2024 7-Round Mock Draft

Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft

Round 1, No. 24 Overall

Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon 

It wouldn’t be surprising if the Cowboys traded down in Round 1 to acquire more picks. With only three picks inside the top 170, it will be tricky to address all of their needs. But if the Cowboys get “stuck” at No. 24, a center is the most likely selection.

As it stands right now, the Cowboys' No. 1 target is most likely Duke’s Graham Barton. But his stock is hot right now, and there is no guarantee that he will be available at this pick. That leads us to Jackson Powers-Johnson, who might be the second-best center in the class.

Powers-Johnson is inexperienced (only 13 starts), but he is big and powerful and was dominant during the 2023 season. Dallas loves having big centers to keep the middle of the pocket clean for Dak Prescott. 

Dallas also loves investing in its offensive line, and "JPJ" is one of this class's top interior offensive linemen. If Dallas is comfortable with his medical history, Powers-Johnson could be their top selection.

Round 2, No. 56 Overall

North Carolina State LB Payton Wilson
North Carolina State Wolfpack linebacker Payton Wilson (11) reacts after intercepting a pass against the UConn Huskies in the last seconds of play of the game at Rentschler Field at Pratt & Whitney Stadium. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports.
Payton Wilson, LB, North Carolina State

In an ideal world, the Cowboys would LOVE to select Texas RB Jonathon Brooks at No. 56. He is everything they want in a feature running back, and his style of play fits perfectly with the rest of the offense. 

However, it's unrealistic to think the first running back will come off the board this late in the second round. In fact, it would be the latest the first running back has been selected in draft history, surpassing the 2014 draft when Bishop Sankey went 54th.

In this mock draft, we will assume Brooks is off the board when the Cowboys pick. That means Dallas turns its attention to linebackers, another area in need.

Edgerrin Cooper, Trevin Wallace and Junior Colson could be options in Round 2. But the Cowboys swing for the fences with Payton Wilson, an oft-injured linebacker who has superstar upside. 

Wilson is an excellent fit in Mike Zimmer’s defense. He excels in coverage and has the size to be a force in the middle of the field. Wilson’s injury history is concerning, but the Cowboys are historically willing to gamble on injured players in Round 2. 

This fit makes too much sense for both parties.

Round 3, No. 87 Overall

Braelon Allen, RB, Wisconsin

After missing out on Brooks at No. 56, the Cowboys have almost no choice but to select a running back in Round 3. At this stage of the draft, we can confidently expect Trey Benson, Blake Corum and Jaylen Wright to be off the board.

That leaves Dallas with the choice of Braelon Allen or Audric Estimé, both of whom were 30 visits for the Cowboys. Dallas goes with Allen, betting on his age and athleticism. 

Allen is a tank at 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, but he doesn’t always play to that size. However, he is a high-character player with a ton of college production. 

His vision is good, and he has home-run speed, something Dallas covets at running back. At pick No. 87, he is worth a gamble.

Round 5, No. 174 Overall

Albany Great Danes offensive lineman Will Marotta (72) blocks Baylor Bears defensive lineman Gabe Hall (95) during the second half at McLane Stadium. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.
Gabe Hall, DT, Baylor

After the top three selections, it is anyone’s guess what the Cowboys might do on Day 3. 

But the defensive line needs depth, especially after Neville Gallimore and Johnathan Hankins left in free agency. Gabe Hall could help fill the void left by those players. 

Hall was outstanding at the Senior Bowl, giving all of the interior offensive linemen fits in the 1-on-1 drills. He is long (6-foot-6 with an 83.5-inch wingspan) but needs to put on weight to hold up against the run. 

He has the upside of being a rotational player immediately at multiple spots in Zimmer's defense.

Round 6, No. 216 Overall

North Dakota State offensive lineman Jalen Sundell (OL66) talks to the media during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
North Dakota State Bison logo Jalen Sundell, OT, North Dakota State

Due to the limited number of selections, the Cowboys couldn’t address their left tackle need earlier in the draft. That means they will likely ask Chuma Edoga to start, replacing Tyron Smith. 

North Dakota State’s Jalen Sundell could be a late-round option at tackle. From 2020-2022, Sundell was the Bison’s starting center, but he transitioned to left tackle this year and had a ton of success. 

He was a first-team All-American and significantly improved his draft status. Although his overall traits are only average, he has 40 career starts and appeared in 57 games. At this stage of the draft, he is worth the risk.

Round 7, No. 233 Overall

Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Bub Means (0) catches a pass against Notre Dame Fighting Irish cornerback Cam Hart (5) in the second quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports.
Bub Means, WR, Pittsburgh

This late in the draft, teams usually just gamble on traits or special teams players. 

With the selection of Bub Means in Round 7, the Cowboys are taking a chance on a 6-foot-1, 212-pound wide receiver who ran a 4.43 at the NFL Combine. 

Means doesn't have much college production, but he does have kick-return experience. He could use a year or two on the practice squad before being trusted as a No. 4 wide receiver.

Round 7, 244th Overall

Texas A&M Aggies defensive back Demani Richardson (26) In action during the game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Arkansas Razorbacks at AT&T Stadium. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Demani Richardson, S, Texas A&M

Demani Richardson is a local kid playing high school football just south of Dallas. He has 55 career starts as an in-the-box safety. 

The Cowboys are drafting him because of his special teams experience and size. He could be a core special teams player right away and could develop into a sub-package player.