Dallas Cowboys 2022 draft: hits and misses


Jerry Jones said he could move up in the draft.  He did not.

Jerry Jones said he could move up in the draft. He did not.
picture: AP

The Dallas Cowboys survived the 2022 NFL Draft without big waves. Two weeks before the draft, Jerry Jones announced it would be him like to move in this design that left fans in Big D on pins and needles. Dallas made no move to jump up and played it safe in the first round, but may have missed out on drafting a future star.

With the 24th overall, Dallas selected Tyler Smith, a tackle from Tulsa. This feels like a choice for the future while adding immediate depth. But the Cowboys were in a prime position to take a defensive end that could immediately replace Randy Gregory.

Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson II was on the board and right there for Jones to draft. Johnson went two picks later to the Jets in 26th place. This was considered cheap by draft pundits, since Johnson finished in the top 10 in a few mock drafts. So the Jets stumbled upon an absolute bargain price that hit the spot for the Cowboys. In fact, the Jets valued Johnson so much they almost drafted him with the 10th overall.

So far, the Cowboys have received many C grades or lower for their draft selections. How good or bad this class really is, we will of course only know in a few years. Dallas addressed many needs in this design. The order in which it was done can be questioned, but they filled in places that needed to be filled.

Dallas drafted an edge-rusher in the second round, taking Ole Miss’s Sam Williams for the 56th overall. While at Ole Miss, Williams faced a number of off-field issues, including a sexual battery charges that suspended him from the program. Those charges were eventually dropped. Now with Gregory in DenverWilliams is expected to join the Cowboys’ pass-rush rotation alongside DeMarcus Lawrence, Dante Fowler Jr. and Dorance Armstrong Jr.. Williams had lost 12.5 sacks and 15 tackles in 13 games at Ole Miss last season.

Aside from the offensive line, Dallas too addressed other needs in attack, like tight end and wide receiver. After eliminating Blake Jarwin earlier this offseason, the Cowboys drafted Wisconsin’s Jake Ferguson in the fourth round. Ferguson caught 145 balls and 13 TDs during his career for Wisconsin. Dallas’ starting TE Dalton Schultz was also a fourth-round pick in 2018. The Cowboys seem to have a penchant for picking TEs mid-draft.

Jason Witten was selected for the boys in the third round in 2003. Witten later went on to have a career in the Hall of Fame, proving that listening and trusting the scouting department means there is something to be said. I’m talking to you, Mr Jones.

Dallas also increased their depth at receiver, taking out Jalen Tolbert from South Alabama in the third round. We’ll quickly find out how good Tolbert could be. Amari Cooper is gone, and so is Cedric Wilson. And probably Michael Gallup won’t be ready at the start of the season. So depending on how Tolbert looks in training camp and preseason, we could see the rookie playing a significant role in early 2022.

Tolbert could be a good choice for Dallas as he could have gone earlier in the third round or possibly late in the second. So they were lucky to get him where the cowboys did. And because the team is thin on receivers, Cowboys fans should get a good taste of what to expect from Tolbert sooner than later.

Overall, this feels like an average draft for Dallas based on what we know right now. None of their tips really impresses you at this point. Even her No. 1 pick Smith is seen as a bit of a reach by some. One plot to keep an eye on is this Dallas radio host which stated that if the Cowboys picked Smith with the 24th round one pick, he would resign.

Bob Sturm of 96.7 The Ticket in Dallas jokingly made this proclamation before the draft and then laughed about it with Smith on air after the draft. Perhaps this will become a situation where Smith will use this as motivation to claim a starting spot in his rookie season. Otherwise, it’s difficult to give this draft anything better than a C-grade at the moment. This draft was fine for Dallas but could have been better.

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