Dallas Cowboys: 2022 Draft Report Card

Time will tell if this year’s draft pans out. If the picks do not work out, the fans will remind Cowboys management and the owners of their errors.

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

Last season the Cowboys didn’t “finish the job” in the playoffs. Sure, they won the NFC East and that’s cool, but Dallas needs to get to the NFC Championship in order to have the opportunity to get to and win the Super Bowl. It’s been a long time coming for the Cowboys and the fans are getting restless waiting to celebrate a Super Bowl win. The 2022 NFL draft has come and gone and here is my take and grades for the Cowboys and this year’s draft. The Cowboys had nine picks in this year’s draft, and they drafted some interesting players to bring into camp and to help change the landscape of the Cowboys future. Dallas needed to build up the offensive line, boost the defensive secondary and add pass rushers on the defensive line. Let’s take a look at this year’s draft picks.

Round 1, No. 24 overall: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
I’m surprised that Dallas didn’t take a player from Wisconsin, Michigan or USC in this spot. Dallas needed new blood on the O-line. He could easily start at guard with all of the injuries the team had from last year, but Tyler Smith will be the next man up for Tyron Smith or Terence Steele at tackle. Dallas will have a big nasty and physical tackle waiting in the wings for the next few years. Grade: B

Round 2, No. 56 overall: Sam Williams, DE, Ole Miss
Believe this or not. Sam Williams could come in and start the first game of the season. He could easily play outside linebacker. He has 12 sacks and 16 tackles for a loss last season for Ole Miss. He has east/west speed running from sideline to sideline but rushing the passer will keep him on the field season. Grade: B

Round 3, No. 88 overall: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
I’ve seen him play this year and he can make plays after catching the ball in the open field. Dallas has some young talented players but no clear-cut #1 receiver. He would be an excellent slot receiver, but Dallas has CeeDee Lamb at that position. He will get some playing time this season on 3rd downs. He can play every down this season if they use him. Grade: A

Round 4, No. 129 overall: Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin
This is an excellent pick, but Dallas has four tight ends already! This pick should’ve been on a cornerback. Dallas is adapting a two tight end format for the offensive line. He will be a key player in the red zone this season. He has a knack for getting himself open in crucial times. He is a pretty good pass blocker as well. I ultimately like this pick! Grade: A

Round 5, No. 155 overall: Matt Waletzko, OT, North Dakota
You can never have too many offensive linemen. Waletzko can open holes for runners and trap blocking is his claim to fame. The best offensive linemen play in cold weather. Dallas plays in a temperature-controlled stadium, but when it’s time to go to Green Bay, Pittsburgh and New York. He will be ready! Grade: B

Round 5, No. 167 overall: DaRon Bland, CB, Fresno State
“He’s 6’ foot, 197 pounds of flight. He will fly to the ball”, said DC Dan Quinn. I’m surprised that he was still on the board. He could easily transition to free safety. Fresno State defensive backs have played both on the outside and inside of the defensive backfield. He’s a chess piece that could see playing time in nickel or dime packages. Grade: A

Round 5, No. 176 over: Damone Clark, ILB, LSU
This pick reminds me of former LB Jaylen Smith. He will be a project for the Cowboys and they love him. He’s injury prone, but will be a top inside linebacker for years to come. He’s a pretty good run stopper that will get some time on the field. He will be an impact player for years to come. Grade: C-

Round 5, No. 178 overall: John Ridgeway, DT, Arkansas
He has played at Arkansas and Illinois State over the past five years. He has experience playing for multiple coaches and in multiple schemes. The interior pressure is what Dallas lacked last season. He will be one of the young bulls to stop the run from opposing offenses. I can’t judge what he would bring to the table, but he’s known for clogging up the middle of the field. Grade: C

Round 6, No. 193 overall: Devin Harper, LB, Oklahoma State
He is an undersized linebacker at 6-foot and 234 pounds. He has pretty good numbers from last year. I would love to see him at strong safety. His best attribute is his speed and recovery at his position. He recorded 96 tackles, six sacks, 10 tackles and 15 quarterback pressures for the Oklahoma State Cowboys as of late. He will be an asset when Dallas has him on the field. This was a smart draft pick for Dallas. Grade: B