NFL Draft Notebook: Five 2025 NFL Draft prospects the Cowboys must scout in 2024

Get a sneak peek at five top draft prospects who could shape the future of the Dallas Cowboys.
Cowboys receiver Brandin Cooks
Cowboys receiver Brandin Cooks / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

While the season hasn't even reached training camp, it's never too early to scout potential prospects for teams. In this week's NFL Draft Notebook, we spotlight five players who could be excellent fits for the Dallas Cowboys. Additionally, we'll cover some promising 2025 wide receiver prospects, an undrafted free agent turning heads, and much more.

2025 NFL Draft prospects the Dallas Cowboys should be scouting

1. Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State

One of the Cowboy's biggest questions going into training camp is will the team be able to extend CeeDee Lamb’s contract. Even if they do Brandin Cooks is scheduled to be a free agent next year and their is a good chance they don’t bring him back. If they do in fact lose of their starting wide receivers it will be a possession they will likely look to address in the 2025 NFL Draft. Ohio State’s Emeka Egbuka is a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands and over the past two seasons he has a 95 percent overall speration percentage in coverage according to Pro Football Focus.

2. Howard Cross III, DT, Notre Dame

Another player the Cowboys could lose next offseason is defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa. The team has also not been overly impressed with their other defensive tackle Mazi Smith who they took in the first round in the 2023 NFL Draft. If they do need to replace one of these player a prospect to watch is Notre Dame’s Howard Cross. Last season, he was just one of three defensive tackles with top-10 pass-rushing and run-defense grades in the Power Five according to Pro Football Focus.

3. Damien Martinez, RB, Miami

The biggest weakness on the Cowboy's current roster is running back as the team is counting on Ezekiel Elliott who is long past his prime. The team also doesn’t have a promising young runner behind him, so look for them to try and add one in the 2025 NFL Draft. Miami running back Damien Martinez is a bruising back at 6-foot and 237 pounds. He also shows surprising footwork for a back his size which helped him rush for 1,185 yards last season. The team could also likely get him in the third or fourth round.

2025 NFL Draft prospect Damien Martinez
Damien Martinez / Tom Hauck/GettyImages

4. Colbie Young, WR, Georgia

Even if Dallas brings back both Lamb and Cooks they will need to add depth to their wide receiver core. A player they may be able to get on day three of the draft with intriguing upside is Georiga’s Colbie Young. Young is an impressive athlete for a 6-foot-5 215-pound wide receiver and his coaches rave about how hard of a worker he is.

5. Trey Moore, OLB, Texas

The Cowboys focused on the outside linebacker position in the 2024 NFL Draft when they took Marshawn Kneeland in the second round and Marist Liufau in the third round. However, I think the team reached on both picks as I only had a sixth-round grade on Kneeland and a seventh-round grade on Liufau. If these players don’t impress this year the team could look at addressing the position again in the 2025 NFL Draft. Trey Moore who transferred from Texas this offseason from UTSA was the 2023 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year after recording 14 sacks.

NFL Draft news and notes

Theo Johnson’s role will increase: The Giants faced a significant setback with Darren Waller's retirement, creating a substantial gap at tight end, a position already considered one of their weakest for the upcoming season. Daniel Bellinger is expected to step into the starting role, but he lacks Waller's dynamic athleticism. However, Theo Johnson, New York’s fourth-round pick in 2024, offers promising potential with his ability to stretch the defense, having run the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds—the second-fastest time among tight ends in last year’s draft.

Primed for a breakout year: Oregon's Traeshon Holden is a player who could rapidly rise up the draft board this year. Despite never having more than 37 receptions in a season, Holden is poised for a breakout year as a full-time starter. His increased production, along with his 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame and impressive agility for his size, should significantly boost his draft stock. Currently rated 640th by the NFL Mock Draft Database, Holden has the potential to become a day two or day three pick.

Underrated: In last week’s NFL Draft Notebook I mentioned how I was high on Miami wide receiver Xavier Restrepo, this is not the only Hurricane receiver that is being underrated though. The other player on the team that is being overlooked is Miami’s Jacolby George who is one of the quicker wide receivers in the 2025 NFL Draft. This speed allowed him to account for 540 receiving yards after the catch which ranked second in the ACC. One concern teams might have with him is that he has been in trouble a couple of times during his college career being arrested on two misdemeanors in January, and he was suspended for the first two games of the 2022 season.

Good chance of making the team: One undrafted free agent who has a good chance of making the team is New Orleans Saints tight end Dallin Holker. Holker has seen plenty of reps already with the first team and has impressed the team with his impressive ball skills. Going into the 2024 NFL Draft I had a seventh-round grade on him due to his impressive college production that saw him 64 passes for 767 yards which made him the most productive tight end in the class. One of the main reasons he fell in the draft was a lack of great testing numbers including running the 40-yard dash in 4.78 seconds.

"We view (Dallin Holker) as our as our eighth-round draft choice, And we view that highly. That a guy that probably should have been drafted by everyone's measure throughout the league, for some reason fell to us. And we're very fortunate to have him we're very excited to work with him."

Saints TE coach Clancy Barone via

Stong hands: One of the reasons Iowa State is my pick to win the Big 12 this season is the play of wide receiver Jayden Higgins. His most impressive trait is his strong hands, which allow him to catch the ball in traffic and result in only two drops out of 166 targets over the past two seasons, according to Pro Football Focus. Besides his reliable hands, Higgins displays remarkable agility for a 6-foot-4, 210-pound receiver, showing the ability to make difficult catches in traffic or dive for receptions. Heading into the season, I have a day three grade on him, but if he can run a good 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, his stock could rise significantly.