The Cowboys sat and watched a pretty wild first round of the 2022 NFL Draft before opting to sign Tulsa offensive lineman Tyler Smith 24th overall. The raw young left tackle is widely expected to join left guard in Dallas, taking care of the Cowboys’ perceived greatest need.
But they still have holes to fill, or at least depth to add, to almost every other place on the list in one way or another. With that in mind, here are some of the best players still available as we prepare for the start of the second round.
All but one quarterback are still available
No, I’m not saying the Cowboys are looking for a quarterback, nor should they be. But after months of hearing how disappointing this class of quarterback was, coupled with the insistence that a run on quarterbacks was going to happen anyway, only Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett heard. his name called.
That means double threat dripping with potential Malik Willis is still around, along with Desmond Ridder, Matt Corral, Sam Howell and Carson Strong. While many quarterback-needy teams haven’t felt the need to take one in the first round, they still need a quarterback and position is still vitally important.
It all matters to the Cowboys because a run at quarterbacks in the second or third round – and it has to happen at some point – means other players are pushed much further, and ideally into the clutches of the Cowboys.
There are plenty of wide receivers out there, but could another run happen?
After all the debate over whether or not the Cowboys would jump on Chris Olave or Treylon Burks if they were available at 24, there was none either. The Falcons kicked off by selecting Garrett Wilson eighth overall, and three of the next four teams picked a receiver. It was the start of a run that saw six receivers go to the first round overall.
However, despite this run on position, neither team in the back half of the first round looked for a receiver. Names like George Pickens, Christian Watson and Skyy Moore remain on the board, although they are likely to retire soon in the second round.
Even so, this is a deep receiver class, and the Cowboys should be within range of David Bell, Calvin Austin III, John Metchie III, Alec Pierce, Khalil Shakir and Jalen Tolbert. Dallas must deal with the issue after losing Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson, as well as Michael Gallup’s uncertain recovery schedule. They seem to be in a good position to sign a very good receiver on Day 2.
We discussed our reactions to Tyler Smith’s choice in a special episode of BTB Roundtable on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Be sure to subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our episodes! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
There are still plenty of quality rushers available
The draft started hot at the EDGE position, with Travon Walker and Aidan Hutchinson among the top two picks. But after Kayvon Thibodeaux went to division rival Giants at No. 5, there was a chilling effect at EDGE. Jermaine Johnson shockingly fell to 26th before the Chiefs took George Karlaftis at 30.
This leaves a lot of meat on the bone at the position. Minnesota’s Boye Mafe looked like he had a good chance of being a first-round pick, but he remains available. David Ojabo was a first-round lock before ripping his Achilles on his pro day, but many expect him to go in the second round. Arnold Ebiketie has generated a lot of interest from Dallas, although he couldn’t qualify for his next pick.
Other names to know are Sam Williams, Drake Jackson, Logan Hall, Josh Paschal, Kingsley Enagbare, Nik Bonitto and Myjai Sanders. In other words, the odds are very good that Dallas at least has the chance to take on a good enough rusher.
Lots of linebackers
It surprised a few to see Quay Walker be the first linebacker on the board, but other than that, we saw Devin Lloyd drafted and not much else at linebacker. Stephen Jones pointed to second-year pro Jabril Cox as a reason the linebacker isn’t a big need this year, but that could change everything for the right player.
There are plenty of linebackers who could realistically intrigue the Cowboys enough on Day 2, including Nakobe Dean, Troy Andersen, Leo Chenal, Chad Muma, Brian Asamoah and Darrian Beavers. More likely, though, Dallas will target a linebacker on Day 3 to provide depth and help for special teams. To that end, a run at linebackers on Friday could impact when they choose to tackle the position.
All the tight ends are still there
The Cowboys are widely expected to return to a tight end at some point after releasing Blake Jarwin earlier in the year, but when they do is anyone’s guess. The good news is that no tight ends were taken in the first round, and it’s entirely possible Dallas could have their pick of the litter next clock.
Names like Jeremy Ruckert, Cade Otton, Jake Ferguson, Charlie Kolar and Jelani Woods have all been connected to the team. Greg Dulcich, Trey McBride, Isaiah Likely, Chigoziem Okonkwo and Cole Turner could also be targets.
Is accumulation allowed?
Sure, the Cowboys spent their best pick on the offensive line, but does that have to be the only time they do? Only two offensive linemen were drafted after Smith at 24, still leaving plenty of stock in the closet.
The first word on Smith is that they are considering him playing left guard for now with the possibility of eventually kicking out to left tackle when their other Smith, Tyron, retires. If that’s the plan, why not draft a replacement for Tyler Smith now? Or compete with Terence Steele at right tackle? Or maybe even a potential replacement for Zack Martin, who turns 32 this season?
There are plenty of solid offensive linemen still available, and they will represent better value in the second and third rounds than many think Smith did at 24. Players like Abraham Lucas, Bernhard Raimann and Nicholas Petit-Frere at tackle with Darian Kinnard, Dylan Parham, Cam Jurgens, Sean Rhyan and Ed Ingram inside all represent excellent opportunities to double up in an area that was arguably the biggest weak point of the team last year.
We explained what Tyler Smith’s selection to the Dallas Cowboys means on the Blogging The Boys YouTube channel:
Be sure to subscribe to our channel (which you can do here) so you don’t miss any of our live shows or videos!