The Dallas Cowboys did not perform up to the caliber of the team’s 2021 roster.
That roster had a lot of depth and talent, and it commanded a huge chunk of the salary cap.
Yet it fell short and could not even win one playoff game.
Since then, this team has undergone a lot of changes, some because of the salary cap issues and some for inexplicable reasons.
The NFL Draft will be an area where the Cowboys look to fill some holes.
Currently, the Cowboys have nine picks in the draft as follows:
- Round 1 (Pick 24)
- Round 2 (Pick 56)
- Round 3 (Pick 88)
- Round 4 (Pick 129)
- Round 5 (Pick 155 from Browns)
- Round 5 (Pick 167)
- Round 5 (Pick 176*)
- Round 5 (Pick 178*)
- Round 6 (Pick 193 from Browns)
There are holes everywhere, offense, defense, and special teams, and many more than three of them.
However, we will take a look at the three biggest needs in ascending order.
3. Offensive Lineman
Guard Connor Williams is now with the Miami Dolphins.
In his four seasons with the Cowboys, he appeared in 60 total games (including regular season and playoff appearances).
While he committed a lot of penalties, he was still a work-in-progress.
Connor Williams holding penalties by season:
Let’s not act like last year wasn’t an anomaly
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) March 15, 2022
The fact that Williams stayed relatively healthy for all four seasons means that he is going to be a tough act to follow, and the Cowboys are likely scouring the college tapes and NFL Combine results to find one who could fill Willams’ spot.
A deeper look at a few of Dolphins early key FA moves including signing OL Connor Williams & re-signing DE Emmanuel Ogbah. pic.twitter.com/4zc76MtMSf
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) March 15, 2022
The Cowboys released Greg Zuerlein, and he is now with the New York Jets.
OFFICIAL: Welcome to New York, Greg!
— New York Jets (@nyjets) March 26, 2022
“Greg the Leg” as he was known in his prime was inconsistent in 2021.
Most missed kicks (extra points and field goals) since 2020:
1. Greg Zuerlein – 22
2. Matt Prater – 19
t3. Michael Badgley – 17
t3. Dustin Hopkins – 17
t5. Ryan Succop – 16
t5. Joey Slye – 16
— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) January 14, 2022
Remaining on the roster is Chris Naggar who is also inconsistent.
He has never found a settling place; previously he was with the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns.
If there is a second-generation Evan McPherson in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Cowboys need to select him ASAP.
Kicking is often underrated and forgotten, but McPherson was a big reason the Cincinnati Bengals made it to the Super Bowl.
1. Wide Receiver
Amari Cooper is now a Cleveland Brown.
It is still difficult to believe the Cowboys could not work out a deal to keep him.
They chose to sign Michael Gallup to a long-term deal, and he is coming off a torn ACL injury.
The irresponsibility of the Dallas Cowboys possibly giving a long-term contract to Michael Gallup coming off a torn ACL, while cutting Amari Cooper, is organizational malpractice and prioritizing Gallup as an either or vs. Cooper is beyond unfathomable
— Kevin Gray Jr. (@KevinGraySports) March 4, 2022
Meanwhile, a healthy and productive Cooper left the building, and someone has to account for his productivity.
CeeDee Lamb is good, but the Cowboys need depth, and in this circumstance, it may take more than one receiver to replace Cooper’s leadership and accomplishments.
Third-year Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb is entering first season without Amari Cooper in Dallas. Mike McCarthy: “I think it changes his landscape on and off the field.” Cooper was starting flanker. Now Lamb. “That’s the position where you have more primary receiver opportunities.”
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) March 29, 2022
As mentioned above, there are more than three gaping holes in this roster.
Arguments could be made for the Cowboys to find a center, safety, linebacker, or defensive tackle in the upcoming draft also.
Money is tight partly due to the large contracts with Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott so the Cowboys need to find NFL-ready players in the draft who can jump in and immediately play as rookies.