5 players Cowboys should draft in the first round

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IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 25: Tight end Trey McBride #85 of the Colorado State Rams is brought down during the second half by linebacker Jestin Jacobs #5 and linebacker Seth Benson #44 of the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium on September 25, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys have the 24th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft and these five players would be excellent choices in that slot.

A critical offseason lies ahead for the Dallas Cowboys, who are facing immense pressure to win now in an NFC that has gotten more wide open since Tom Brady retired. The Cowboys haven’t reached the NFC Championship Game since 1996 despite fielding a supremely talented roster for nearly two decades, raising the stakes for Jerry Jones as he works to fix Dallas’ issues during the offseason.

The good news for the Cowboys is that there are a number of players that should be available with the 24th pick in the draft that can step in as Day 1 starters on a playoff team. Here are five potential targets for the Cowboys in Round 1, beginning with a potential replacement for Dalton Schultz.

5. Players the Dallas Cowboys should draft in Round 1 – Trey McBride

Dallas has some salary cap issues that could prevent them from retaining Schultz, who will be one of the most coveted tight ends on the free-agent market. The drop-off from Schultz to Blake Jarwin is dramatic and could hurt the Cowboys’ offense, making the choice of McBride at No. 24 a shrewd one if Schultz walks.

McBride is the draft’s unquestioned top tight end prospect out of Colorado State and has drawn rave reviews for his ability to be a matchup nightmare in the passing game. It is also reassuring that McBride is an above-average blocker, which would help the Cowboys replace an underrated part of Schultz’s game.

The No. 24 pick seems to be on the high-end of McBride’s draft stock so this is an option that Dallas could consider if some of their higher priority targets come off the board. Jones could also opt to trade back a bit to secure McBride’s services while also landing some more draft capital to improve the Cowboys’ depth down the line.

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