What Are The Dallas Cowboys’ Team Needs In The 2022 NFL Draft?

The 2022 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 28. As a lead-up to the draft, we’ll be giving a team-by-team breakdown for positional needs. For each team, we’ll give an overview of the current depth chart and how big of a need each position is in the upcoming draft. You can find the rest of the team needs (as they’re updated) and the rest of our draft content in the 2022 NFL Draft hub.

Sharp Football Betting Package
Take 15% off NFL Betting + Props

Dallas Cowboys 2022 Draft Picks

Round 1 (24)
Round 2 (56)
Round 3 (88)
Round 4 (129)
Round 5 (155)
Round 5 (167)
Round 5 (176)
Round 5 (178)
Round 6 (193)

Dallas Cowboys Team Needs in the 2022 NFL Draft


Dallas Cowboys Strength of Schedule, 2022

The Dallas Cowboys have the 6th easiest NFL strength of schedule for the 2022 season.

Dallas Cowboys Offense

By Rich Hribar


Dak Prescott
Cooper Rush
Ben DiNucci
Will Grier

The Cowboys gave Dak Prescott a huge extension offseason that runs through the 2024 season. Prescott threw a career-high 37 touchdowns on a career-high 6.2% touchdown rate this past season. 

Backups Cooper Rush and Will Grier are signed for this season only with Ben DiNucci signed through 2023, leaving quarterback as a low priority for the Cowboys to address in April. 

Running back

Ezekiel Elliott
Tony Pollard
Rico Dowdle
Jaquan Hardy
Sew Olonilua
Nick Ralston (FB)

This backfield still runs through Ezekiel Elliott. 

Elliott is coming off 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2021. He got out of the gates hot, averaging 104.3 yards per game with six touchdowns over the first six games before then averaging just 60.3 yards per game with six scores over the final 11 games of the season.

Elliott picked up a PCL injury that he played through after Week 4 and his workload and production diminished as the season wore on.

All of that said, Elliott still hardly came off the field. Only Najee Harris (980) played more snaps than Elliott (810). 

The Cowboys have shown ultimate commitment to Elliott and he still has at least another season before they can realistically get out of his contract. 

Behind Elliott, Tony Pollard enters the final season of his rookie contract coming off his best season in the league, posting 1,056 yards and averaging 6.2 yards per touch. With Pollard on the field, Dallas averaged 6.7 yards per play (which would have led the NFL over a full season) compared to 5.7 yards per play with Pollard on the sideline (11th).

After Pollard, the depth here is filled out with end-of-bench options that have next to no on-field experience or contractual leverage.

It is far from an immediate priority, but with a potential out on Elliott’s contract after the season and Pollard set to become an unrestricted free agent after 2022, Dallas could add another depth option on day three.

Wide receiver

CeeDee Lamb
Michael Gallup
James Washington
Noah Brown
Simi Fehoko
T.J. Vasher
Brandon Smith

The Cowboys have had a busy offseason with their wide receiving corps.

They traded Amari Cooper to the Browns while Cedrick Wilson signed with the Dolphins. Those two players combined to account for 25.4% of the team receptions, 29.6% of the receiving yards, and 35% of the receiving touchdowns in 2021.

Dallas gave Michael Gallup a five-year extension this offseason after he played in just nine games in 2021, while suffering a torn ACL in early January. 

They then doled out a one-year contract to James Washington, who can fill in for Gallup should he be limited to start the season while taking a flyer that he can contribute more. 

All of that signals that this passing game will run through CeeDee Lamb in his third season. Lamb improved across the board in his second NFL season (79-1,102-6), but he did go out quietly in 2021, catching 32 passes for 376 yards and zero touchdowns over the final seven games in the regular season.   

When Dallas selected Lamb two years ago, it was considered a luxury, but now the team has a need to add another pass catcher to insulate Gallup’s injury, any limitations Lamb may face taking over as the face of the passing game, and the lack of viable depth here. 

Whether or not Dallas adds a wide receiver in the first round, they should explore adding to the position by the end of day two. 

Tight end

Dalton Schultz
Sean McKeon
Jeremy Sprinkle
Ian Bunting

The Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Dalton Schultz after catching 78-of-104 targets for 808 yards and eight touchdowns. Only Mark Andrews, Travis Kelce, T.J. Hockenson, George Kittle, and Darren Waller averaged more receptions per game among tight ends than Schultz in 2021.

Ian Bunting is the only tight end here currently under contract in 2023, which could be a signal for adding a body here, but it is not an immediate necessity, especially if Dallas can come to terms with an extension for Schultz. 

Offensive line

LT: Tyron Smith/Aviante Collins
LG: Connor McGovern/Braylon Jones
C: Tyler Biadasz/Matt Farniok
RG: Zack Martin
RT: Terence Steele/Josh Ball

Once an area of dominance for the Cowboys, the offensive line is a position filled with potential question marks.

The team still has All-Pro right guard Zack Martin as an anchor and is under contract through 2024.

Tyron Smith is also still under contract through 2023 and still an effective player when on the field, but he also will turn 32 years old this December while he has missed multiple games in each of the past six seasons, missing 32 games in total over that span. 

Terence Steele and Conner McGovern could be pressed into starting jobs after losing guard Connor Williams (949 snaps) in free agency while releasing right tackle La’El Collins (672 snaps) this offseason.

Steele allowed the highest pressure rate (6.3%) per pass blocking snap on the team in 2021 while Connor McGovern allowed the most sacks (four) on the offensive line. McGovern graded 46th among qualifying guards in 2021 per Pro Football Focus while Steele was the 58th graded tackle. 

Neither McGovern nor Steele are signed beyond this season, although Steele will be a restricted free agent.

The team also has 2021 fourth-rounder Josh Ball as an option as a swing tackle, who was redshirted for his rookie season.

Center can be upgraded, but both centers Tyler Biadasz (2023) and Matt Farniok (2024) are under contract for multiple seasons while tackle and guard are more pressing priorities. 

Expect Dallas to add help at offensive tackle to press Steele for a starting job right away while also offering insurance should Smith continue to miss time off the field while they also have a hole at left guard. 

Sharp Football Betting Package
Take 15% off NFL Betting + Props

Dallas Cowboys Defense

By Dan Pizzuta 

Interior Defensive Line

Osa Odighizuwa
Neville Gallimore
Trysten Hill
Carlos Watkins
Quinton Bohanna
Austin Faoliu
Josiah Bronson

Osa Odighizuwa was a pleasant surprise rookie breakout as a third-round pick. Odighizuwa played 53% of the defensive snaps and started 12 games inside. He added 11 quarterback hits, six tackles for loss, and two sacks. He was 23rd in pressure rate among 94 defensive tackles with at least 150 pass rush snaps in 2021.

Neville Gallimore dislocated his elbow in his preseason but returned for the final five games of the regular season. In those games, he played at least 40% of the defensive snaps in all of them. In that limited playing time, he still put up 1.5 sacks and three tackles for loss. He’ll slide in as the top interior pair with Odighizuwa to start 2022.

2019 second-round pick Trysten Hill has never gotten consistent production or playing time for various reasons. Hill returned from a torn ACL in midseason but didn’t make much of an impact inside. He has just one year remaining on his rookie deal.

Dallas could add some late-round depth here. They got some decent rotational work from Quinton Bohanna, but could use another piece given some of the injury issues that have popped up in the past.


Demarcus Lawrence
Dante Fowler
Dorance Armstrong
Chancey Golston
Tarrell Basham

Demarcus Lawrence has been one of the league’s best pass rushers but a broken foot shortened his 2021 and even coming off the injury, he gave the Cowboys a bit of a discount to return in 2022. Even if Lawrence’s consistent double-digit sack days are behind him, he continues to be a disruptor and a quick winner off the line.

The Cowboys thought they were going to get Randy Gregory back, but before the contract was signed, Gregory chose the Denver Broncos. Gregory was 11th among edge rushers in pressure rate last season, per SIS. To replace him, Dallas brought in Dante Fowler. Fowler was 57th among edge rushers in pressure rate last season as the top guy in Atlanta. Fowler has been more consistent and productive as a No. 2 next to a top-tier pass rusher and that’s what he could be getting with the Cowboys.

This position thins out fairly quickly for the Cowboys, though 2018 fourth-round pick Dorace Armstrong is a decent rotational piece and had a higher pressure rate than Fowler last season.

Off-ball Linebacker

Micah Parsons
Leighton Vander Esch
Jabrill Cox
Luke Gifford
Devante Bond

Much of the pass rush questions with injuries were answered when Micah Parsons lined up more on the edge. He finished with the highest pressure rate among defensive ends/linebackers with at least 200 pass rush snaps. Parsons was all over the defense, even relaxing some coverage concerns that surrounded the first-round pick entering the season.

Behind Parsons, there are some questions. Dallas brought back Leighton Vander Esch, but for just one year and $3 million, a deal that doesn’t scream “full-time starter.” Jabrill Cox was drafted in the fourth round of the 2021 draft but only saw nine defensive snaps.

The Cowboys spent 80% of their snaps in nickel, with at least two linebackers on the field. They’ve already been linked to the position in the first round with Nakobe Dean and Devin Lloyd. Per Grinding The Mocks data, Dean is the second-most mocked player to the Cowboys and linebacker is the third-most mocked position.


Trevon Diggs
Anthony Brown
Jourdan Lewis
Kelvin Joseph
Nahshon Wright
CJ Godwin
Kyron Brown

Trevon Diggs had a lot of interceptions and gave up a ton of yards as the Cowboys’ top corner. Diggs was 51st among 92 qualified cornerbacks in Adjusted Yards allowed per coverage snap, which factors in both touchdowns and interceptions. Regardless of how you view Diggs’s production profile from 2021, he’ll slot in as the top corner on the 2022 defense.

No corner was thrown at more than Anthony Brown in 2021 (104 targets, per SIS) and that wasn’t just opposing offenses avoiding the corner on the other side, Diggs also had one of the highest target rates in the league. Brown saw just below average production with that high volume (61st in Adjusted Yards allowed per coverage snap).

Kelvin Joseph, a 2021 second-round pick, had some flashes on the outside and could push Brown for playing time, if not eventually the starter role.

Jourdan Lewis manned the slot and was fairly productive there, ranked 34th in Adjusted Yards allowed per coverage snap.


Jayron Kearse
Malik Hooker
Donovan Wilson
Isreal Mukuamu
Tyler Coyle

Jayron Kearse played 88% of the defensive snaps and was arguably Dallas’s best and most consistent defensive back throughout the season. Kearse topped his previous career total (eight) with 10 passes defensed in 2021 and he also added nine tackles for loss. He was all over the field and re-signed for an inexpensive one-year deal for just over $1 million.

There are questions about who will play next to him. Damontae Kazee played that role last season, but he’s still a free agent. Malik Hooker was re-signed, but his talent has always been overshadowed by injuries. Donovan Wilson played 30% of the defensive snaps last season and the 2019 sixth-round pick could be slotted in as the starter as the roster stands right now.

Sharp Football Betting Package
Take 15% off NFL Betting + Props