ARLINGTON, TX- The 2022 NFL Draft is over and the Dallas Cowboys used all 9 picks to better their team.
The Dallas Cowboys selected:
- 1 (24) Tyler Smith, Offensive Lineman, Tulsa
- 2 (56) Sam Williams, Defensive End, Ole Miss
- 3 (88) Jalen Tolbert, Wide Receiver, South Alabama
- 4 (124) Jake Ferguson, Tight End, Wisconsin
- 5 (155) Matt Waletzko, Offensive Tackle, North Dakota
- 5 (167) DaRon Bland, Cornerback, Fresno State
- 5 (176) Damone Clark, Linebacker, LSU
- 5 (178) John Ridgeway, Defensive Tackle, Arkansas
- 6 (193) Devin Harper, Linebacker, Oklahoma State
Starting at 24, Tyler Smith has all the tools to be a dominate offensive lineman. He just turned 21 in April. Dallas will probably put him at guard to start his career. Smith is a massive human at 6’5”, 324 lbs. and has a mean, nasty attitude on the field. He is probably not ready to start but has the strength, upside, and athleticism to kick out to tackle eventually.
In rounds 2 and 3, the Cowboys drafted one of the best pass rushers in the draft in Ole Miss defensive end Sam Williams. While Williams is a great pass rusher, he does need to work on his run defense. He has great production in a top college conference and earned various post-season accolades like All-American Second Team, All-American Third Team, All-SEC First Team, and was on the Butkus Award Watch List.
One thing about Williams was a sexual battery charge in 2020. The suspension was lifted when the charges were dropped two months later.
The Cowboys then took Jalen Tolbert in the third round to help offset the losses of Cedrick Wilson and Amari Cooper. Tolbert was a big play machine for the Jaguars and since 2019, had 77 catches of +15 yards and last season had 82 receptions for 1,474 yards, and 8 touchdowns.
On day 3, the Cowboys had 6 picks and really bolstered the defense. Over the past 2 seasons, the Cowboys have used 13 picks on defense.
DaRon Bland was a speedy defensive back who plays very aggressively. Bland could see a switch to safety in Dallas.
The Cowboys double dipped at linebacker in LSU’s Clark and Oklahoma State’s Harper. Harper is a fast linebacker who will play on special teams and Clark won’t see the field this season. Clark could’ve been a day 2 pick if not for a herniated disk that caused him to have spinal fusion surgery. If Clark ends up playing to his potential, the Cowboys could have a serious linebacking corps for years to come.
The other defender taken on day 3 was John Ridgeway from Jerry Jones’ alma mater, Arkansas. Ridgeway doesn’t offer anything in the pass rush department but is a great run stuffer. The Cowboys used a 6th round pick last season on massive defensive tackle Quinton Bohanna to help stop the run and now have added Ridgeway. After the 49ers ran wild on the Cowboys in the playoffs, fans must be happy the team noticed they needed help stopping running backs.
On offense, Dallas drafted Wisconsin tight end Jake Ferguson and North Dakota offensive tackle Matt Waletzko.
Waletzko, like Smith, is massive at 6’8”, 312 lbs. and ranked 12th out of 1146 offensive tackles with a 9.9 RAS (relative athletic score). The Cowboys drafted athletes and Waletzko fits the bill. He will need time to develop and should push other backups on the roster.
Ferguson isn’t the best athlete, but he is a good football player. The Cowboys needed some help at tight end as the only real weapon at the position on the roster is Dalton Schultz. The Wisconsin product will compete with the other tight ends on the roster to back up Schultz.
The Cowboys filled all their needs in this draft. They didn't address offensive line in free agency and drafted 2 lineman. They address the receiver, tight end, and linebacker positions and filled the void at defensive end. Only time will tell how the Cowboys did but if it turns out like the last couple seasons, the future is bright for the Cowboys.