Dude oh dude, has time flown or what!? It seems like almost yesterday we were all hanging after the Dallas Cowboys’ early exit from the playoffs at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. But here we are just days away from kicking off the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 28.

With that in mind, here is my final 2022 simulation draft for the Dallas Cowboys. This particular draft uses The network project simulator, however, I created my own Big Board by plugging in Dane Brugler’s top 300 NFL Draft 2022 prospect rankings and provided his thoughts on each player from his “The Beast” draft guide.

This final Cowboys simulation draft is an attempt to tap into what they think and the players they might be targeting. For example, many selections were based on their pre-draft visits and the belief that they will be very aggressive in rotation and negotiation, making multiple trades early and often, starting at No. 24 in the 1st round.


*TRADE*

(Cowboys send 1.24 to Chiefs for 1.29, 3.94)


1.29 – OG Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

6’4″, 323 lbs | 5.24 40 times | 1.76 10-YD Split | 34 inch arms | 83 3/8″ Wingspan

Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

By Dane Brugler:

Green needs to correct bad habits and penalties to the next level, but he does a great job of staying balanced before and after contact with mobility and brawling mentality to win his matchups. He should establish himself as a reliable starting guard early in his NFL career.

The Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs could realistically have a mutual interest in becoming first-round trade partners. The Cowboys could be looking to drop a few spots to pick up some extra draft capital while landing their target, Kenyon Green. And the Chiefs could be looking to overtake Buffalo, Tampa Bay and Tennessee for the next top-ranked cornerback, in this case Andrew Booth Jr. It’s a win-win trade for both organizations and one we could see. realistically take place on April 28.


*TRADE*

(Cowboys send 2.56, Seattle 3.94 for 2.41)


2.41 – WR George Pickens, Georgia

6’3”, 195lbs | 4.47 40-Time | 34.5″ green | 10’5″ wide | Needles 8 3/4” | 77 3/8″ Wingspan

Missouri Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images

By Dane Brugler:

Pickens has a discount sticker on him after missing most of the 2021 season, but he’s a graceful athlete with exceptional ball tracking and 50-50 finishing skills. he has WR1 traits and potential if he returns to pre-injury form and continues to refine his routes.

After missing out on top-ranked receivers in the first round, the Dallas Cowboys could be looking to move up from No. 56 in order to land the next best option in George Pickens. With the extra third-round pick they received from the Chiefs, they could realistically send him in a 56-pack to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for the 41st overall pick. After being selected at 40, Seattle may be looking to go downhill to recoup some extra draft capital and not have to give up their extra second-round pick.


3.88 – EDGE Sam Williams, Ole Miss

6’3″, 261lbs | 4.46 40-Time | 1.52 10-YD Split | 33 1/8” Arms | 80 1/4″ Wingspan

Ole Miss vs. Alabama

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

By Dane Brugler:

Williams needs to improve his discipline to be a more consistent passer and rusher, but he has the uphill acceleration and attacking mentality to affect the game as a quarterback chaser. He’s an exciting pass-rush prospect in the subsets with the potential to be more.

After taking care of their two biggest needs with their first two picks, the Cowboys can now sit still and finally let the draft come their way. Luckily, Sam Williams, one of their pre-draft visitors, slipped into their rounds at No. 88. Dallas may have re-signed Dorance Armstrong and brought in Dante Fowler via free agency, but in adding an extremely gifted athlete with Williams’ upside as the future starter against DeMarcus Lawrence would be a dream come true for them with their third-round pick.


*TRADE*

(Cowboys send 4,129, 5,176 Broncos for 4,116)


4.116 – TE Jelani Woods, Virginia Tech

6’7″, 253lbs | 4.61 40 times | 34 1/2″ Arms | 9 1/2″ Hands | 82″ Wingspan

Virginia Tech vs. Virginia

Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

By Dane Brugler:

Woods needs to tighten up his run and overall consistency, but his size, blocking potential and capture point are an attractive package. Prototypical tight end of the Y at the top level, he prepares his game after Mercedes Lewis and it shows.

Starting caliber tight ends will likely start to blow away near the end of the third round until the start of the fourth, which means the Cowboys could be looking to trade in order to snag replacement Dalton Schultz this year and maybe- be his replacement as starter next season. Packing the 129th fourth-round pick and one of their four 5th-round picks (176th overall) in Denver — who has back-to-back picks at 115 and 116 — is not only a doable, but realistic trade that could be a win- win for both organizations.


5.155 – SJT Woods, Baylor

6’2”, 195lbs | 4.36 40-Time | 32 3/8” arms | 8 1/2″ hands | 77 3/8″ Wingspan

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Baylor vs. Ole Miss

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

By Dane Brugler:

Woods needs to improve his discipline and tackling skills, but he has attractive traits with more speed, long arms and no-for-football in running play and coverage. He could get a few looks at the cornerback from teams in a hurry.

After being super aggressive for three of their first four picks, the Cowboys can once again sit tight for the second time and let the draft come their way. In doing so, the former Baylor Bears all-around safety drops right in their rounds at No. 155 in the fifth round to add a chess piece-like weapon to their secondary. JT Woods may have played a versatile safety role during his time at Baylor, but the Cowboys could also consider him a CB given that he more closely fits the mold Dan Quinn is looking for (height, length, speed) at the position. .


5.167 – LB Brandon Smith, Penn State

6’3”, 250lbs | 4.52 40 times | 1.58 10-YD Split | 34 5/8″ arm | 81 1/2″ Wingspan

Michigan vs. Penn State

Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

By Dane Brugler:

Smith is a long, tooled athlete with potential in the NFL, but the tape shows an uneven, unrefined player who needs to improve his handling and finishing skills before earning a significant role at the next level. His best long-term position might be rusher.

Outside of Micah Parsons, the Cowboys can’t be completely confident about their position at linebacker. Leighton Vander Esch has a proven injury history and Jabril Cox is coming off his own season-ending knee injury. Counting on them to stay fully healthy in 2022 would be unwise given the lack of depth behind them. In Brandon Smith, they would get a talented LB prospect who has a similar, albeit undefined, skill set to Micah Parsons. It would provide depth/assurance with an upside start.


5.178 – RB Abram Smith, Baylor

5’11”, 213lbs | 4.50 40 times | 1.53 10-YD Split | 36” green | 9’8″ wide

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Baylor vs. Ole Miss

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

By Dane Brugler:

Smith won’t suit every draft, but he’s tailor-made for the outside/split zone running game with his one-cut quickness and sense of land development. He not only brings value to the backfield, but knows defense and special teams well to potentially provide three-way versatility.

Abram Smith is exactly the kind of prospect who can play a valuable role for the Cowboys not just as a rookie, but over the next few years. His versatility to play a variety of roles is invaluable, as is his potential starting ability as a running back in the not-too-distant future. Don’t be at all surprised if Smith is in contention for the starting RB job next season when Tony Pollard becomes a free agent and Zeke becomes a potential salary cap victim.


6.193 – iOL Cade Mays, Tennessee

6’4″, 311 lbs | 5.24 40 times | 1.81 10-YD Split | 34 1/8” arms | 82 1/4″ Wingspan

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEPTEMBER 25 Tennessee at Florida

Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

By Dane Brugler:

Mays can be tied down as a pass blocker due to high pads and poor body control, but he’s physical in the running game with NFL-level playing strength. He projects himself best inside the guard in the NFL, likely as a backup as he fights for a starting spot.

Much like Kenyon Green, Cade Mays is a versatile offensive lineman who has held almost every position in his college career. In two years at both Georgia and Tennessee, he started 18 games at right guard, 13 at right tackle, two at left guard and two at left tackle. Although he has never officially played a game at the center, he has taken snaps there in the past. That kind of versatility and positional flexibility could be invaluable in a backup role with the Cowboys as he continues to develop into what could become an eventual starter.