After a successful 2021 NFL season that resulted in a 12-5 record and their first NFC East title, the Dallas Cowboys lost their Wild Card Round matchup to the San Francisco 49ers. And then they lost again during the free agency and trading period, making this 2022 NFL Draft a bit more important than what they likely wanted it to be.
Dallas lost wide receivers Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson, two starters on the offensive line in Connor Williams and La’el Collins, and defensive end Randy Gregory, who was seemingly set to re-sign in free agency, but instead bolted for the Broncos. So those losses created some serious holes that obviously needed to be filled.
As for their first choice, the Cowboys went in the right direction and went with the offensive line in Tulsa tackle Tyler Smith. And they filled in a few other holes from there.
2022 NFL Draft picks by Dallas Cowboys
- No. 24 Overall: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
- No. 56 Overall: Sam Williams, DE, Ole Miss
- No. 88 Overall: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
- No. 129 Overall: Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin
- No. 155 Overall: Matt Waletzko, OT, North Dakota
- No. 167 Overall: DaRon Bland, CB, Fresno State
- No. 176 Overall: Damone Clark, LB, LSU
- No. 178 Overall: John Ridgeway, DT, Arkansas
- No. 193 Overall: Devin Harper, LB, Oklahoma State
No. 24 Overall: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
The Dallas Cowboys went the intelligent route with the No. 24 pick and selected tackle Tyler Smith. The Tulsa product may be the best overall run blocker in this draft, but his pass protection needs some work. It actually wouldn’t be a surprise to see him slide over to guard at some point. But Smith is one of the strongest guys in the 2022 NFL Draft, which will play well in Big D.
No. 56 Overall: Sam Williams, DE, Ole Miss
Sam Williams has A-grade talent but has had off-field issues at both the high school and college levels, including a charge for sexual battery in 2020 that was later dropped. But focusing only on the on-field talent is really nothing new for the Dallas Cowboys, is it?
No. 88 Overall: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
It’s fitting that the Cowboys took a wide receiver at No. 88, isn’t it? Jalen Tolbert obviously won’t be wearing that famous number but will be a nice complement to the man wearing that number, CeeDee Lamb. Dallas could have used this pick to fill a bigger need, but Tolbert is a decent pick.
Day 3 Picks
No. 129 Overall: Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin
lt’s understandable that the Cowboys are preparing for the exit of Dalton Schultz, but they probably could have gotten Ferguson in the fifth round. Still a solid talent but went a tad too high.
No. 155 Overall: Matt Waletzko, OT, North Dakota
Jerry Jones may have been able to still get Matt Waletzko later on, but this is a decent use of one of the picks that came from the Cooper deal.
No. 167 Overall: DaRon Bland, CB, Fresno State
Bland is a bit of a stretch at No. 167, but the Cowboys need a little help at cornerback, and you can never have too many.
No. 176 Overall: Damone Clark, LB, LSU
This is a hard pick to grade as Damone Clark likely would have gone late in the first round or early in the second round if he didn’t need spinal fusion surgery, which will cost him his rookie season and perhaps his football career as a whole. But we’ll grade him on talent and value for now at No. 178, which is an easy A.
No. 178 Overall: John Ridgeway, DT, Arkansas
Speaking of value, John Ridgeway is certainly that at No. 178.
No. 193 Overall: Devin Harper, LB, Oklahoma State
Yet another strong move for the Cowboys in the late rounds. Devin Harper is extremely athletic and will only get better learning from Micah Parsons. Hey, at least he doesn’t have to learn a new team name, though.
Stats courtesy of Sports Reference