Proposed Cowboys Trade Sees Dallas Jump Eagles for ‘Explosive’ Prospect

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

Getty Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

The Dallas Cowboys are less than a week away from the NFL draft, and one ESPN insider thinks the team could make an aggressive move. Dallas has the 24th pick in the 2024 NFL draft, but the Philadelphia Eagles are sitting not too far in front of them.

In a new piece suggesting trades for every 1st round pick, ESPN reporter Bill Barnwell links the Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers to a move. Pittsburgh has the 20th pick in the draft, but believes they could move back for more draft capital and that would allow Dallas to move up for an elite talent at center.

“It’s rare to see two of the league’s most storied franchises come together on a trade, but there’s some logic here for both parties,” Barnwell wrote. “For the Cowboys, this is a chance to move up ahead of the Dolphins and Eagles for interior offensive line help. Assuming that Dallas pushed Tyler Smith to left tackle on a full-time basis, it could be looking to add Graham Barton (Duke) — Mel Kiper Jr.’s top-ranked center — to play guard or center.”

That sounds plausible. The Cowboys are still figuring out their plan on the line after Tyron Smith’s departure. In terms of a “reload,” Barton is a premier prospect and as good as any other option.

Graham Barton Has ‘Pro Bowl Potential’

Offensive lineman don’t earn a lot of national recognition. But Barton is a name that draft scouts have been talking about since 2022. With 39 starts to his name, the versatile offensive lineman was first-team All-ACC in both 2022 and 2023.

What’s interesting about Barton being billed as a center is that he barely played there while at Duke. In fact, his only starts at the position were in his freshman season in 2020.

But his quick hands and size translates far better to interior play in the NFL.’s Lance Zierlein broke him down for the site’s official draft profile, and his comments are extremely positive.

“Reviewing Barton’s tape is a pleasurable experience in offensive line evaluation, as his tenacity and know-how are on full display throughout. Though he played at a high level at left tackle, center will likely be his NFL home. Barton is an explosive drive blocker with the body control and leg drive to keep opponents centered and finish the job,” Zierlein wrote. “Barton’s technique, toughness and athleticism are exactly what teams will be looking for from an early starter with Pro Bowl potential.”

Cowboys Spinning Several Plates

Besides preparing for the NFL draft, the Cowboys are also trying to handle finances elsewhere. Dallas has yet to get an extension done for WR CeeDee Lamb or their other top players.

That being said, Dallas at least commented on the situation recently. Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones attempted to explain Dallas’ quiet offseason by mentioning the need to extend elite players.

“It doesn’t mean it happens overnight,” Jones said, as Heavy previously covered. “But when you’re wanting to sign players like Dak (Prescott) and Micah (Parsons) and CeeDee (Lamb), then you have to hold money back if you want to have a realistic chance of signing those guys.”

How the NFL draft affects Dallas’ approach to the salary cap is something to monitor.