With quarterback Dak Prescott back healthy last season, the Cowboys looked like true Super Bowl contenders. They finished the season with a 12-5 record to win the NFC East and advance to the playoffs. Despite the strong rebound, the Cowboys were quickly bumped from the playoffs when they lost at home in the first round to the San Francisco 49ers and their season – once again – ended earlier than planned.
The biggest move for the Cowboys this offseason was trading wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for draft picks. Cooper has eclipsed the 1000-yard mark five times in his eight-year career and is therefore a weapon on any offense. But Dallas already has depth at the receiver position in CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, though admittedly not as much at the start of the season after the Miami Dolphins signed Cedrick Wilson. The Cowboys are now freed up to use their additional draft picks to fill other positions of need.
The Cowboys had a strong offensive line protecting Prescott last season, but they need to do some restructuring this offseason. Guard Connor Williams was picked up by the Miami Dolphins in free agency and OT La’el Collins was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals. Dallas could also use an upgrade at center over the young Tyler Biadasz.
Dallas could also benefit from adding more all-around depth on the defensive side of the ball. The Cowboys’ defense performed better than expected last season, finishing No. 7 overall in points allowed per game. The Cowboys’ 2021 draft picks led the improved defensive effort as linebacker Micah Parsons (No. 12 overall) and cornerback Kelvin Joseph (No. 44 overall) became immediate contributors on the field. 2020 second-rounder Trevon Diggs was in the DPOY conversation thanks to a league-high 11 interceptions (but was also dinged for his struggles in coverage). Because the Cowboys have insisted in the past that Parsons will not be used exclusively at defensive end, there is also a need for help off the edge, particularly because defensive ends Tarell Basham and Dante Fowler Jr. are set to hit free agency in 2023.
Click here for the entire 2022 NFL Draft order and keep reading to see who the Cowboys take in the 2022 NFL Draft. Coverage of the latest news from around the NFL is available all year round on PFT’s Peacock channel.
Dallas Cowboys 2022 NFL Draft Picks:
Round 1: No. 24 – Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
Round 2: No. 56 – Sam Williams, LB, Ole Miss
Round 3: No. 88 – Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
Round 4: No. 129 – Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin
Round 5: No. 155 (from CLE) – Matt Waletzko, OT, North Dakora
Round 5: No. 167 – DaRon Bland, CB, Fresno State
Round 5: No. 176 – Damone Clark, LB, LSU
Round 5: No. 178 – John Ridgeway, DT, Arkansas
Round 6: No. 193 (from CLE), Devin Harper, LB, Oklahoma State
Check out draft picks for other teams in the NFC East