Cowboys address remaining needs in 2022 Day 3 mock draft

What needs do the Cowboys still need to fill and what kind of haul would help fill them. @CDPiglet has a mock draft to help guide things.

The Cowboys had three major needs for the 2022 draft and they believe they filled them with the first three picks afforded them. Tyler Smith will fill the hole at left guard vacated by Connor Williams. Edge rusher Sam Williams was a player the Cowboys organization loved, and they were not gonna risk losing him waiting for pick 88. Wideout Jalen Tolbert was the second player in contention for the pick at 56, and he lasted until the third round. An easy choice for Dallas.

With the self-inflicted holes at edge and WR filled in Day 2 of the draft, and the offensive line cover at pick 24, the question is what other needs are needed to be filled in Day 3. Dalton Schultz on a franchise tag, plus with how the Cowboys handle the cap, it makes tight end the biggest need on the team. Dallas also needs a starting one technique, linebacker depth, and running back is a sneaky need due to Tony Pollard being on a one-year deal and Ezekiel Elliott having an out in his contract at the end of the season.

Here’s a mock draft to see how Dallas can go about rounding out their draft haul.

Mel Kiper’s final mock causes fan freakout with first-round reach by Cowboys

Conventional wisdom says Dallas could go OL with at 24, but the name Kiper turns in has thrown Cowboys Nation for a loop with hours to go. | From @ToddBrock24f7

It’s no secret that the Cowboys have some patching to do on their offensive line after the departures of La’el Collins and Connor Williams. Most draft analysts seem to believe the team could be looking to spend their first-round pick on one of this year’s top prospects in hopes of landing the next perennial All-Pro to go alongside Tyron Smith and Zack Martin.

Boston College’s Zion Johnson and Texas A&M’s Kenyon Green are the names most commonly being bandied about as a possibility with the 24th overall selection. Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning gets the occasional mention, as do Alabama’s Evan Neal, North Carolina State’s Ikem Ekwonu, Mississippi State’s Charles Cross, even Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum.

In his final mock exercise for ESPN before the first round on Thursday night, draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. agrees that the Cowboys need to beef up their front five.

But he does it with Tulsa tackle Tyler Smith.

The pick was met with a collective eleventh-hour freakout from a sizable chunk of Cowboys Nation.

Smith has received second-round grades from most major draft analysts. Cowboys Wire listed him as a third-rounder in our player profile on him earlier this week.

The 6-foot-4 redshirt sophomore is an intriguing prospect, to be sure, but he’s raw. He just turned 21 this month and still has much about his game that he needs to develop.

So to pass on a lineman (or wide receiver or edge rusher) who seems ready to start Week 1 in order to lay claim to a long-term project in the first round would feel like a reach by Dallas, a squad looking to win now.

And while owner Jerry Jones spoke just this week about being more conservative than he used to be with draft picks- especially when it comes to a player’s availability- history shows that if the Cowboys brain trust has themselves convinced they’ve identified a diamond on the rough that no one else sees, it’s not out of the realm of reality that they pull a stunner at No. 24.

The Cowboys traded back in the first round in 2013 and took Travis Frederick in the 31st slot. While Frederick obviously went on to a spectacular career that will send him to Canton, he was, at the time, a second- or third-round prospect. Jones is quick to use him to this day- and did just two weeks ago– as an example of the team sticking to its guns when they believe in a player, despite what the “experts” say.

Perhaps making Tyler Smith an even bigger Day 1 surprise in the 2022 draft, though, would be Kiper’s prediction that Dallas isn’t even looking to move the Fort Worth native to guard- which he can do, and which would fill an immediate need- but instead would be drafting him to play tackle. The Cowboys currently have an eight-time Pro Bowler in Tyron Smith at left tackle and a third-year man on the right side in Terence Steele, a player so promising that they let former first-round talent La’el Collins walk out the door with little more than a goodbye wave.

“I thought about a wide receiver,” Kiper says of his choice for Dallas at No. 24, “but the Cowboys’ offensive line is aging. Smith would play right tackle in this scenario. He was a dominant pass-blocker in college, though he can get a little too physical at times; he was called for 12 penalties last season.”

Would Tyler Smith be ready to start at guard for the time being? Serve as depth at tackle? Mean Terence Steele’s job isn’t safe? Signal come other unthinkable upheaval on the O-line?  Goodness knows spending a first-round pick on a tackle of the future doesn’t do anything to fill the holes in the Cowboys roster here and now.

With just a few hours to go before the Cowboys are on the clock, Tyler Smith is a potential curveball that could have all kinds of ripple effects: on the rest of the first round’s draft board and the Cowboys roster and future plans.

Not to mention the psyche and blood pressure of the team’s fanbase.

[listicle id=696422]

[listicle id=696483]

[listicle id=696575]


Final 7-round 2022 Mock Draft: Cowboys move up for edge rusher

The Cowboys need a bunch of help despite what the front office says. They can’t get it all in one draft, but they can try.

In less than 24 hours, the NFL draft will be underway and the Dallas Cowboys will be looking at their best chance to turn the narrative of their offseason around. After a collapse down the stretch of the 2021 regular season, things have gone from bad to worse in the eyes of the fans. A lackluster free-agency period and off-field drama require a jump start and that will only happen if the normally savvy draft team keep their momentum going.

Sitting at No. 24 in the first round makes it difficult though. Will Dallas move up? They do in this draft, but not in the first round. Instead they move back, and then use to extra draft capital to improve their second-round pick. Is is worth it? Will it work?

Final 3-round mock draft: Cowboys stick with BPA, add OL help and two weapons

The Cowboys add two dangerous receiving options for QB Dak Prescott and secure the #1 OG on their board. | From @ProfessorO_NFL

The Dallas Cowboys will enter the 2022 NFL draft with a lenghty shopping list, despite their pre-draft talk, after an uneventful free agency that focused on keeping as many players as possible as opposed to signing outside help. The Cowboys found themselves losing starters at defensive end, wide receiver and left guard.   Of those three, the consensus is that guard and wide receiver are the most likely positions the Cowboys could look to address early in the draft.

Dallas has a fairly strong track record of taking the best player available (BPA) in Round 1 but have deviated from that from time to time. Could this be one of those exceptions or will Dallas stick to their drafting playbook?

Dallas’ recent draft history shows there is a fairly large chance they let the draft fall to them and will not trade up, however, that remains a possibility depending on how the rest of the board plays out.  In this mock draft, we will defer to the Cowboys normal draft protocol and will not entertain trading up or down.


PFF mock draft: Kenyon Green injects youth into Cowboys offensive line

In his only mock draft of the season, Ari Meirov has heard from enough people in the know to predict the Cowboys taking the Texas A&M guard. | From @ToddBrock24f7

The Kenyon Green train is picking up steam as the Cowboys prepare to pull into the 2022 draft day station.

The Texas A&M lineman has been a popular name in Cowboys mock circles all offseason, but the roster is thin in several spots. Seemingly just as pressing to Dallas’s plans this season are a wide receiver who’s ready to go Week 1, a legitimate edge rusher, a starting-quality linebacker, solid tight end depth, and more beef for the interior defensive line.

Add to that lengthy shopping list a very deep collegiate class and a bonkers free agency period that has shaken up multiple rosters with blockbuster trades, and it’s still anybody’s guess what the Cowboys- or practically any NFL team- will do once they’re on the clock Thursday night.

All of which is perhaps why Ari Meirov of Pro Football Focus has made his latest mock draft his only mock draft of 2022. Calling this year’s event “easily one of the most unpredictable drafts in recent memory,” he has nonetheless called his shots for the first round on the basis not of what he thinks teams should do, but rather, “what people around the league and in the know believe will happen.”

Those people are suggesting that the Cowboys will go with the Aggies guard with the 24th selection.

“Starting to inject some youth into the Cowboys’ offensive line feels like a must,” he writes. “Green started at every single offensive line position except center last season, earning a 79.8 PFF grade. He’s interviewed really well with teams throughout the draft process, meeting with most teams in the back-end of Round 1 and top of Round 2. Dallas met with him at the combine and then brought him into its facility as well for a visit. Drafting someone with the versatility to play multiple positions is very enticing to teams.”

It’s likely especially enticing to Dallas, who’s seen a lot of rotation on the O-line over the past couple seasons due to injury, COVID, suspension, and plain old ineffective play.

Plugging the 6-foot-4-inch Green into the Cowboys’ projected starting front as left guard would give the team three of five players who are 25 or younger on opening day, with the other two being perennial Pro Bowlers.

[listicle id=696431]

[listicle id=696426]

[listicle id=691811]


Mock Draft 7.0: Cowboys go WR early, trade out of 2nd in 7-round exercise

Would the Cowboys pass up on their pre-ordained pick? A seven-round exercise that diverges from the beaten path. | From @KDDrummondNFL

There’s definitely a consensus forming around Dallas when it comes to the first round of the NFL draft. Just a few days away, the Cowboys will have to wait to get on the clock, so their choice will in some way be dictated by other team’s preferences. Still, a leader has emerged in Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green. The Cowboys have a need and he’s projected to be available while meeting many of the club’s 10 Draft Commandments.

Of course he could come off the board before their pick, or a player they have ranked higher slides to them. This mock takes a look at that possibility. Dallas’ 30 visit list included three wideouts who many project to go in the top 15. But if one of them slides and Dallas has a positive outlook on them, would they pull the trigger? Here’s what that might look like.

Seven-round mock draft: has Cowboys trading picks to move up in 1st

The Cowboys give up two late picks, but get the versatile offensive lineman they want in the first round; a WR and DE follow soon after. | From @ToddBrock24f7

Dallas is currently sitting on nine picks heading into next week’s draft. But in this mock exercise from’s draft analyst Chad Reuter, the Cowboys deal away two picks in order to move up in the first round to get the prospect they really want.

Now with a total of seven hypothetical picks, the team still addresses their thinnest spots: wide receiver, edge rusher, and linebacker. And they double up on the offensive line with two new additions to their Great Wall rebuilding project.

From the Panther, the Bison, and the Rebel to the Badger and the Buckeye, all the way to a pair of Tar Heels late, here’s a look at who Reuter picks to be wearing new silver and blue uniforms at rookie minicamp.

Mock Draft 6.0: Cowboys trade back, get OL help, focus on pre-draft visits

Trying to plug every hole in a playoff boat, this seven-round mock addresses almost every Cowboys need. | From @KDDrummondNFL

The Dallas Cowboys may have too many holes to fill this time. Normally the club works to fill the gaps during free agency, but they’ve left a glaring need at both offensive guard and wide receiver with the defection of Connor Williams and Cedrick Wilson and the trading of Amari Cooper. It’s hard to stray away from those needs when doing 2022 mock drafts, because not addressing them early in favor of other positions makes things harder down the line.

Not impossible, mind you, but harder. The team could still go any direction with their first pick and then get a guard and wide receiver on Day 2, but that causes a couple of issues. Even with trading back to acquire more picks, or moving around to ensure grabbing certain guys, it’s hard to envision the Cowboys getting impact players or future starters for every position of need. In addition to the two already mentioned, offensive tackle, defensive end, tight end, run-stuffing DT, safety, linebacker, center, even running back and corner could use infusions for various reasons.

In this latest mock, an attempt was made to follow the Cowboys 10 Draft Commandments and address as many needs as possible. A first-round trade back netted an extra selection, then the myriad of fifth-round picks were used to move up in a couple places to secure targets. Even with all this, a position was left behind.

Cowboys address DL, OL in first 2 rounds of Kiper/McShay 3-round mock draft

Mel Kiper drew the Cowboys’ card in each of the 3 rounds and added beef to both the defensive and offensive lines, saving WR until last. | From @ToddBrock24f7

The dynamic draft duo for The Worldwide Leader has tag-teamed on a three-round mock draft that harnesses both their big-board brains.

Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay agreed to take turns, alternating picks for each team through the first 105 selections. McShay has the odd-numbered selections; Kiper takes evens. No trading selections, and no colluding on picks. The gurus’ predictions are based on a combination of what they think each club will do and what they would do if it were up to them.

Kiper ends up making all three Dallas picks in these rounds, and he addresses what many see as the three biggest areas of need, though not necessarily in the same order as most fans.

Cowboys address multiple needs in Dane Brugler’s 7-round mock draft

Draft guru Dane Brugler of The Athletic knows the Cowboys’ needs and preferences better than most. @AsaHenry_55 provides analysis of the 9 prospects he sent them.

Few, if any, analysts do more homework in the leadup to the NFL draft than Dane Brugler of The Athletic. With less than two weeks to go before the draft arrives, Brugler released a 7-round mock of the process.

This isn’t your usual mock draft, as not only does Brugler conduct extensive research on over 1,500 prospects, he thoroughly understands team needs and preferences for all 32 clubs. The draft guru gave us a glimpse into his criteria, noting that he focused on “scheme fits, organizational trends and reported interest level (30 visits, formal meetings, etc.)”

Brugler also happens to be a former writer for the Dallas Morning News, and a frequent co-host on The Draft Show, hosted on the Cowboys official YouTube channel, so it’s safe to say he is one of the pundits whose work Cowboys fans should pay extra attention to.

Here’s a closer look at all nine of the prospects selected by Dallas in Brugler’s first and last 7-round mock draft of 2022.