The 2022 NFL Draft will kick off on April 28, and over three days, 259 players will be selected from a pool of more than 700 prospects. The Dallas Cowboys hold the 24th overall pick in the first round, and Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones has hinted at the position he thinks the team will look at first on Draft Day.
“I think that I wouldn’t dismiss a great opportunity with a pass rusher,” he said on the Cowboys website. “Obviously, I’d like to have a young offensive lineman at the positions that you could immediately come in and play.”
However, Jones also joked that plans could change depending on the players available. He said the team would seek O-Line help “unless a [CeeDee] Lamb or [Micah] Parsons is there.”
The Cowboys invited 30 players to meet with the team earlier this month, a group of prospects that included eight offensive linemen and nine defensive linemen. The Cowboys lost several key players in the off-season, including a now-infamous row with Randy Gregory that led to his decision to sign elsewhere.
The Cowboys offensive line struggled at times last year, hampering the run game and committing too many drive-ending penalties. La’el Collins was cut due to salary cap considerations and will play for Cincinnati next season. Connor Williams, the unfortunate winner of most penalties-against for 2021, signed with Miami as a free agent. Connor McGovern remains the only left guard option ahead of the draft.
In his latest mock draft, Sports Illustrated writer Zack Patraw says that the Cowboys may select defensive end Logan Hall with their first pick. Hall, a humble Texas native, was one of the 30 players to visit with the team and is considered a second-round pick.
Patrik Walker with CBS Sports also sees Dallas picking a defensive lineman, but he foresees tackle Jordan Davis as a possible pick in round one. Davis is likely a first-round choice on Draft Day, despite the NFL grading him as a boom-or-bust player.
The SB Nation NFL Community Mock Draft recently concluded that the Cowboys could select Kenyon Green, a product of Texas A&M who played in four offensive line positions in his final year of college. Green is also projected to be a first-round selection and is considered a player who could be a starter within two years.
Other options that the Dallas Cowboys may look to in the first round could involve a wide receiver. The Cowboys traded Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns in the off-season, leaving CeeDee Lamb as the primary wide-out on the roster. Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup will likely still be rehabbing a torn ACL when the season begins, and Cedrick Wilson signed with the Dolphins in free agency.
The Cowboys Wire sees the team taking a receiver in the first round to provide depth and skill at the position. Their mock draft has the Cowboys hitting on Drake London, a receiver from USC. London was also one of the 30 players to meet with the team in April. The NFL prospect profile views London as a first-round selection and a two-year starter.
It is impossible to say with any real certainty what the Cowboys will do because of both the number of picks ahead of Dallas and the tendency for unpredictable decision-making to happen on Draft Day.