Dallas Cowboys 2024 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys Find Dak Prescott’s Successor in Round 1

Jerry Jones recently suggested Dak Prescott could hit free agency in 2025, so we forced Dallas to take a first-round QB in our Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft.

The Dallas Cowboys may need a new quarterback in 2025. On Tuesday, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones suggested that his club will not reach an extension with Dak Prescott, who is entering the final year of his contract.

How will Dallas’ 2024 NFL Draft plans change with Prescott potentially headed for free agency next offseason?

We used Pro Football Network’s Mock Draft Simulator to find out, forcing ourselves to select a QB with the Cowboys’ Round 1 choice before using the rest of Dallas’ picks to add more immediate contributors.

Dallas Cowboys 2024 NFL Draft Picks

The Cowboys traded their original fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-round picks to acquire QB Trey Lance and WR Brandin Cooks and move up in last year’s draft.

Dallas received fifth- and sixth-round compensatory selections and owns the Las Vegas Raiders’ seventh-rounder, which the Cowboys acquired in a 2022 pick-swap trade that netted them DT Johnathan Hankins.

  • Round 1, Pick 24: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington
  • Round 2, Pick 56: Zach Frazier, C, West Virginia
  • Round 3, Pick 87: Payton Wilson, LB, NC State
  • Round 5, Pick 174: Isaac Guerendo, RB, Louisville
  • Round 6, Pick 216: Prince Pines, G, Tulane
  • Round 7, Pick 233 (from LV): Jaden Crumedy, DT, Mississippi State
  • Round 7, Pick 244: Qwantez Stiggers, CB, Toronto Argonauts (CFL)

Dallas Cowboys 7-Round 2024 NFL Mock Draft

Round 1, Pick 24: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

Let’s assume the Cowboys don’t re-sign Prescott. He’ll have every right to become the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback, and Dallas might not be willing to pay him $60 million annually on his next deal.

If Prescott walks, the Cowboys will be left with $40.46 million in dead money in 2025. That would be the second-most dead money in NFL history, trailing only the 2025 dead money the Denver Broncos will absorb after releasing Russell Wilson this offseason.

Dallas will need to get on a rookie quarterback contract path. The Cowboys’ selection at No. 24 will sign a four-year contract worth $15.872 million that contains no cap charges above $6 million over the next four seasons and includes a fifth-year option for the 2028 campaign, per Over the Cap.

While there’s no guarantee Michael Penix Jr. will ever reach Prescott’s ceiling, his affordable contract would allow Dallas’ front office to reinvest the cap and cash savings on other areas of the roster.

Of course, Penix is no slouch on the field. He took Washington to the College Football National Championship Game and finished second in Heisman Trophy voting last year after averaging 8.8 yards per attempt and tossing 36 touchdowns.

Penix is already a talented downfield passer but will need to improve his intermediate game to mesh with Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb.

Round 2, Pick 56: Zach Frazier, C, West Virginia

Dallas lost center Tyler Biadasz to the Washington Commanders in free agency, watching the 53-game starter ink a three-year, $30 million deal with its NFC East rival.

Former undrafted free agent Brock Hoffman would start at the pivot for the Cowboys if the season started today. Last season, Hoffman started in Week 3 when Biadasz was sidelined by a hamstring injury and played guard in a meaningless Week 18 contest. Still, he has just 221 NFL snaps on his résumé.

Zach Frazier was a four-year starter at West Virginia and should be able to play immediately at the pro level. A former state-champion wrestler, Frazier has the mobility, leverage, and football intelligence to get on the field from Day 1. He reportedly met with the Cowboys at the Scouting Combine.

Round 3, Pick 87: Payton Wilson, LB, NC State

While linebacker isn’t necessarily an immediate need for the Cowboys, who signed free agent Eric Kendricks this offseason to play alongside holdovers Damone Clark and Markquese Bell, Payton Wilson represents too much value to pass on at pick 87.

Wilson is the 53rd overall prospect on PFN’s Big Board, so he’s a clear steal 30+ selections later. Although he might spend most of his rookie campaign on special teams, Wilson could become a starter in 2025 once Kendricks’ one-year deal expires.

Kendricks is also 32 years old and has dealt with injury issues nearly every season of his nine-year NFL run. Wilson is no stranger to injuries, either, having suffered two torn ACLs and a serious shoulder problem during his career, but his range and versatility make him worth the risk at this point in the draft.

Round 5, Pick 174: Isaac Guerendo, RB, Louisville

The Cowboys are still trying to figure out their RB depth chart after losing Tony Pollard to the Tennessee Titans. Dallas re-signed Rico Dowdle and still has Deuce Vaughn and Malik Davis, but it needs to add another option to its backfield.

Isaac Guerendo dominated the Combine, ranking first among running backs in the 40-yard dash (4.33 seconds) and vertical jump (41.5 inches) at 6’0″, 221 pounds. His 9.97 Relative Athletic Score was the seventh-best mark among RBs since 1987.

Guerendo’s size should make him an immediate goal-line option, but he’s competent enough as a pass catcher and protector to play all three downs.

Round 6, Pick 216: Prince Pines, G, Tulane

Dallas found its long-term center by drafting Frazier in Round 2. However, the Cowboys still need to find a new left guard, given that they plan to transition Tyler Smith to left tackle to replace Tyron Smith.

MORE: Is the 2024 NFL Draft Offensive Line Class One of the Best Ever?

While Mike McCarthy likely won’t call on a sixth-round rookie to start, Prince Pines has the size (6’4″, 320 pounds) and experience to play relatively early in the NFL. Pines, who began his collegiate career at Sam Houston State, earned All-AAC first-team honors for Tulane in 2022.

Round 7, Pick 233 (From LV): Jaden Crumedy, DT, Mississippi State

Johnathan Hankins left the Cowboys in free agency, while 2023 first-round DT Mazi Smith disappointed as a run-stopper in his rookie season.

Jaden Crumedy isn’t much of a pass rusher (8.5 sacks over five college seasons), but he’s a stout run-stuffer at 6’4″ and 300 pounds. Dallas will be pleased with this selection if Crumedy can become a future rotational piece.

Round 7, Pick 244: Qwan’tez Stiggers, CB, Toronto Argonauts (CFL)

The Cowboys’ willingness to explore the USFL ranks landed them first-team All-Pro kicker Brandon Aubrey in 2023. With a need at CB, Dallas will hit the minor leagues again and try to hit another home run.

GET DRAFTING: Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

Qwan’tez Stiggers, one of PFN draft analyst Ian Cummings’ favorite players in this year’s draft, did not play college football. Yet, he thrived in the CFL and hardly looked out of place at the Shrine Bowl, where he consistently mirrored receivers in 1-on-1 coverage.

Stiggers is worth a dart throw as a potential Stephon Gilmore replacement.

All the 2024 NFL Draft resources you need — the draft order, the top QBs, the Top 100 prospects, and the full 2024 Big Board — right at your fingertips at Pro Football Network!

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