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7-Round Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft

With the 2022 NFL Draft finally here, Cowboys Nation should be pumped for the idea of adding young talent to a team that has seen more subtraction than addition this offseason. While Dallas had little trouble winning the NFC East a year ago, an early playoff exit proved that this roster still has room for improvement, which this Dallas Cowboys mock draft will address. 

Considering the team prioritized cap space at the start of free agency, fans of America’s Team are likely itching to get to the draft. There, Dallas will finally get their hands on some quality players that can help this team take a step forward in 2022. The Cowboys have nine picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, including four in the fifth round. The high number of day-three selections should give Dallas some ammo to possibly move up on day one or two instead of hoping for their favorite prospects to fall in their lap.

While offensive line and pass-catchers seem to be among the top needs on Will McClay and Stephen Jones’s draft board, this front office has made no secret that value will always be considered in the early rounds. Here is my final seven-round mock draft for the Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys Draft Picks

5155 (from CLE)
5176 (Compensatory pick)
5178 (Compensatory pick)
6193 (from CLE)

Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft

Round 1, Pick 24 — Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

The Cowboys will have quality prospects available at this pick, but it seems they’ve got their heart set on adding a player at a premium position. While a guard or center may be the best option here, Dallas appears locked in on the top tackles (Evan Neal, Ikem Ekwonu, Charles Cross, Trevor Penning) and receivers (Drake London, Garrett Wilson, Jameson Williams, Chris Olave, Treylon Burks) because they have a more significant impact on a roster.

However, the likelihood that any of those nine will get to this pick is bleak. The front office could look to move up a few picks to increase those odds, but if we see several quarterbacks go in the top 20, I think the players left on the board could entice them to stay put.

While Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd or Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum do not play positions Dallas is desperate to fill, they are valued well above 24 on my board and would be an upgrade. However, I could also see Dallas striking out on what they want and selecting a guard like Zion Johnson or even Kenyon Green. They may even move down in the process.

treylon burks dallas cowboys nfl mock draft
Credit: Tony Gutierrez/AP Photo

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Here, Treylon Burks versatile play-making ability was too much to pass on. He’s a big receiver that excels in 50-50 situations because of his impressive blend of body control, strength, and focus. He lined up all over the field at Arkansas and maximized his value with his ability to wreak havoc on gadget plays (screens, reverses, shallow crossers) as well as carry the ball out of the backfield.

The former Razorback is quite similar to Dez Bryant after the catch, thanks to his dangerous combination of play strength and speed at 6’2” at 225 pounds. We saw Kellen Moore put CeeDee Lamb in a versatile role a year ago, but with this pick, Burks could take over that position while Lamb jumps outside into Amari Cooper’s vacated spot.

It’s hard not to get excited about a guy that can affect the entire offense and even bring value as a return man. We’ve seen guys like that shine in modern offenses (Deebo Samuel, Cordarrelle Patterson), and that is what Moore’s playbook has evolved to over the last several years.

Round 2, Pick 56 — Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss

If the Cowboys don’t address the offensive line at 24, there will likely be heightened desperation to do so here. That is where Dallas’ bounty of day-three selections could come in handy. Moving up closer to the top 50 could ensure they get their hands on a guy like Central Michigan’s Bernhard Raimann or Tulsa’s Tyler Smith, and maybe even Green if he slides because of concerns over his knee.

Still, while I believe the Cowboys want to address the offensive line, I’m not sold they will force a pick if the value is right elsewhere. This pass rush can be dangerous when Micah Parsons is a wild card that offenses can’t prepare for, and the way to do that is by moving him around. If that is the goal, they need more help coming off the edge.

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In 2019, the Cowboys were enamored with Trysten Hill fitting in Rod Marinelli’s defense and were willing to reach on him at 58, although many had him as more of a third-round option. I am getting similar vibes about Dan Quinn’s fixation with Sam Williams.

Quinn was at Ole Miss to work out Williams with Mike McCarthy in attendance as well, and the former Rebel also visited The Star. He’s got rare explosion for a 260-pound player and the exceptional acceleration to turn the corner or pursue from the backside.

Williams still has a lot of room to develop technically, but a lot of that can be attributed to Ole Miss playing him out of position often. There will also be concerns over a sexual battery charge that was eventually dropped. With the current scenario Dallas has found themselves in with Joseph, I wonder if that will temper their enthusiasm on Williams.

Still, this guy can be a game-changer off the edge, and I could see the Cowboys repeating their “take him while you can get him” approach as they did with Hill.

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Round 3, Pick 88 — Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia

Once again, if Dallas has still not found the offensive lineman they are looking for, it becomes more likely they will take one with this pick. I commented that guard and centers are not as coveted in the first round compared to premium positions like tackle and wide receiver.

Still, that often results in starting-caliber players sliding into day two. While Dallas may prefer a tackle in round one, I think the level of interest evens out across the offensive line on day two. Guys like Nebraska’s Cam Jurgens or UCLA’s Sean Rhyan may fit what they want here, but at 88, Dallas will be sure to consider anyone who is still on their board with a top-100 grade (if any remain).

At this point, value likely trumps any need, and that is why I’ve got the Cowboys passing on an offensive lineman with the third-consecutive pick. If I were a betting man, I would not wager against them adding a lineman with one of their top-three selections. Still, I did my best to stay true to my board and the Cowboys’ apparent interest in certain players in this class. That is why the top three picks fell this way.

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A year ago, the Cowboys didn’t hide their interest in tight end Kyle Pitts, who was seen as a generational talent as a pass-catching tight end that could create countless mismatches in the NFL. I’m not going to sell anyone a bridge on Woods being a similar prospect to Pitts, but Woods’ physical makeup is not all that different.

At 6’7” with 34 ½-inch arms and a 37 ½-inch vertical, he’s got a massive catch radius that could fit into Blake Jarwin’s old role, complimenting Dalton Schultz. Pitts was more explosive and much more polished coming out of Florida, but Woods is a terrific athlete for his size with plenty of projection to his game.

After being pegged as a blocking tight end at Oklahoma State, Woods had a breakout campaign for Virginia as a graduate transfer. I have some doubts about whether or not he gets to 88, but if he does, the Cowboys can groom Woods into the mismatch nightmare they so covet. Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert and Washington’s Cade Otton also fit in this range.

Round 4, Pick 129 — Joshua Ezeudu, G, North Carolina

Finally!!!! Yes, I have the Cowboys taking an offensive lineman here, but don’t get it twisted; this is based on value and scheme fit. Once teams get beyond their top-100 grades, need typically goes out the door.

Sure, there are examples of guys like Tyler Biadasz and Tony Pollard fitting a need early on day three, but it’s a rare instance for a team to draft a player outside their top-100 board with the idea of him starting as a rookie. If it happens, that’s a pleasant surprise any team will welcome, but it’s not the thought process, with the exception of a player with a top-100 grade slipping to the fourth round with some form of red flag being the culprit.

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The big question will be whether or not a player with a top-100 grade can get to 129 or in range to trade up. I’ve seen Ezeudu mentioned as a possible sleeper to slide into the end of day two, and considering Dallas brought him in for a top-30 visit, I wonder if his potential presence on day three would prompt a move up.

He’s got an NFL build, with room to add more strength without compromising his terrific mobility. There are some similarities to Connor Williams athletically, but Ezeudu has a bigger frame and better length that can be groomed to handle power in ways Williams couldn’t.

However, there is a reason Williams was picked at 50 in 2018, while predicting Ezeudu to come off the board nearly 80 picks later. The former Tar Heel lacks some of the proper techniques to become a quality starter at the NFL level.

He can be over-aggressive early in the snap, and I’d like to see his lower half be a better factor after contact, whether it’s anchoring to absorb power or driving his legs to create movement. Still, this would be a terrific selection if Ezeudu can get here.

Round 5, Pick 155 — Cade York, K, LSU

I’m not sure how likely it is that Dallas keeps all four of their fifth-round selections. With two of my first four picks, I have the Cowboys taking a player ranked higher than where Dallas selects them.

Any of these four could be packaged to move up a few slots to ensure that the prospect they covet winds up with a star on his helmet. Still, I don’t predict trades in my mock draft scenarios, considering the impossible nature of knowing what each team is thinking when on the clock.

I will add that Dallas doesn’t have a seventh-round selection, though they have shown interest in quite a few prospects who should hear their names called before the draft is over. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Cowboys gain a late pick by moving back with one of these fifth-round selections.

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The infamous “Amari Cooper” pick will already be a volatile conversation piece because of the fans’ outrage over not getting more for a receiver that is considered a number-one target in this league. Imagine how that anger will multiply if the selection is used on a kicker.

Still, York is the top kicker in this class and the kind of reliable option Dallas is looking for after parting ways with Greg Zuerlein. While I said need goes out the door on day three, specialists are one of the few exceptions.

The McKinney-native started immediately in Baton Rouge, finishing second in the nation in scoring behind Jonathan Taylor in his debut campaign. While he did miss four extra points that year, he was perfect from then on, while also going 15-19 on career kicks beyond 50 yards.

The Cowboys are desperate for a quality kicker, and he’s going to come off the board in the middle of day three. Look for Dallas to reach a bit to get their guy.

Round 5, Pick 167 — Otito Ogbonnia, DT, UCLA

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Ogbonnia fits what Quinn is looking for at the nose, as a powerful, long-armed tackle with an intriguing motor when fresh. Like Quinton Bohanna, who Dallas took in the sixth round a year ago, he still has a developmental bridge to cross to maximize his potential. Still, unlike Bohanna, he has intriguing burst off the snap that gives him more upside.

That explosion and length could help him be an imposing two-gap player. He will never be a sack master on the inside, but Ogbonnia can become a guy that creates opportunities for others by pushing the pocket when he does see reps in the passing game.

A year ago, the Cowboys dipped into the UCLA trenches to nab Osa Odighizuwa, who had a solid rookie campaign. I wouldn’t be shocked to see them return for a developmental nose with the potential to be groomed into a starter in 2023 when Carlos Watkins’s one-year deal has expired.

Round 5, Pick 176 — Matt Waletzko, OT, North Dakota

Dallas Cowboys Draft Pick:

If the Cowboys don’t get a tackle that can push for a starting job right away, I can see them doubling down with a projectable prospect like Josh Ball, who they took in the fourth round a year ago. You never know when a toolsy player will develop properly to make the most of his potential, and as the saying goes, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.

Having two projects at tackle isn’t an ideal scenario for a roster. Still doubling up on guys like Ball and Waletzko simply increases the chances that Dallas hits on one like they have done in past years with Doug Free and, more recently, Terence Steele.

At over 6’7” with 36-inch arms, Waletzko has size you just can’t teach and the athleticism to handle the speed of the NFL. Still, his frame offers plenty of room for more bulk, as does his lower half. Developing additional power in both areas will be crucial to his development.

dallas cowboys mock draft
Credit: Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

Round 5, Pick 178 — Charleston Rambo, WR, Miami

Dallas Cowboys Draft Pick:

Rambo is a bit of a sleeper in this class, as a polished route-runner that shows the agility to steer clear of defenders off the line and at the top of his route. I really do see glimpses of Allen Hurns in his game, though Rambo needs to get stronger to handle the physicality of NFL defensive backs.

Still, he’s a silky-smooth athlete with tremendous focus and savvy at the catch-point. Rambo doesn’t have a ton of experience in the slot, but with added strength to ensure he wins in his release, I think he could line both inside and out.

He may not offer much on special teams, but I think he could push Noah Brown and James Washington for the fourth position in this receiving core that is wide open after Cedrick Wilson’s departure.

Round 6, Pick 193 — Devin Harper, OLB, Oklahoma State

Finding players with experience on special teams is often a goal of the Cowboys in later rounds. Whether it’s linebackers, defensive backs, wide receivers, tight ends, or running backs, their value on offense or defense is often less of a priority, with Dallas coveting what they have to offer in the kicking game.

Of course, there are exceptions. If a projectable player with high upside were to fall here, or even a top-100 talent with a significant red flag (ala Damone Clark with his recent injury), that could be the pick. The Cowboys will have plenty of directions they can go with this final pick, and I had them going with a special teamer.

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Harper is an exceptional athlete for 234 pounds, with speed and jumping ability near the top of the class. Those traits show up on tape, though he is still developing instincts for the position after being more of a sub-package player and special-teamer in his first four years of action.

Still, I could see him developing into a quality backup to Jabril Cox as a nickel backer while also being a standout on special teams. A similar prospect who could be an option is Georgia Tech’s Tariq Carpenter.

If the Cowboys elect to go in a different direction, Jackson State’s James Houston has rare explosion of the edge that could be groomed into a pass-rush specialist. Keep an eye on Fresno State’s Daron Bland, who has the kind of size, speed, and length that can be developed into the type of corner Quinn covets.

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