Cowboys Projected to Add ‘Premier Athlete’ with ‘Superlative Explosiveness’


Getty The Dallas Cowboys could be on the cusp of adding a potentially elite playmaker to Dak Prescott's arsenal.

The 2024 season has the potential to be a make-or-break campaign for Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, and this offseason could be centered on adding playmakers to quarterback Dak Prescott‘s supporting cast.

Given that veteran wide receiver Michael Gallup could be earmarked as a cap casualty, combined with the Cowboys having limited spending flexibility even with the salary cap set at $255.4 million for 2024, prioritizing the wide receiver position in the NFL Draft could prove prudent.

That’s exactly what Pro Football Focus projects the Cowboys to do, in the outlet’s latest 2024 mock draft, projecting Dallas selecting LSU receiver Brian Thomas Jr. with the No. 24 overall selection in April’s draft.

Thomas, 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, doesn’t just represent a big-bodied red-zone target, which the Cowboys could desperately use, but has the speed to be an ideal complement opposite CeeDee Lamb in Dallas’ passing game.

During the 2023 season alone, Thomas caught 68 passes for 1,177 yards with 17 touchdowns, while averaging 17.7 yards per reception.

Brian Thomas Jr. Scouting Report

An electrifying playmaker on the perimeter, Thomas Jr. played his way into the conversation as a likely first-round draft pick last season.

“[Thomas is a] streamlined WR with elite length and efficient mass and is a premier athlete at his size,” Ian Cummings writes, in his Thomas Jr. scouting report for Pro Football network. “Stack specialist with superlative explosiveness and speed working the vertical plane. Has the long speed to create and sustain vertical separation, generating big plays. Energetic, flexible long-strider who can vaporize tackling angles with his acceleration.”

Listed as Pro Football Focus’ No. 23 overall prospect in this year’s draft class, Thomas caught 127 passes for 1,897 yards with 24 touchdowns across three seasons in Baton Rouge.

According to PFF, Thomas Jr.’s 15 deep catches were third in the nation in 2023, and his 670 deep yards ranked second, both underscoring his game-altering speed.

“Thomas has all of the necessary physical tools in elite quantities,” Cummings writes. “He’s an overbearing size threat with a massive catch radius, but he also carries his weight with effortless ease and has an exciting mix of explosiveness, speed, agility, and fluidity.”

Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy Won’t Attend NFL Combine

If the Cowboys plan on meeting with or doing any in-person scouting of Thomas Jr. during the NFL Scouting Combine, McCarthy won’t be in Indianapolis.

Following Mike Zimmer’s hiring as defensive coordinator, McCarthy says he believes his time would be better spent meeting with his staff at the Cowboys’ Frisco headquarters rather than the grueling schedule of the Combine.

“Zim and I will have a full week together here and cover a lot of ground with things we’re working on,” McCarthy said, via ESPN. “At the same time, we can still participate in the combine process and have direct contact through video calls and meetings, while having our coaches on the ground there as well.”

This marks the second consecutive season that McCarthy has skipped the combine, opting against the late nights at Prime 47 steakhouse and whirlwind prospect meeting schedule in favor of getting a new offensive coaching staff up to speed.

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