Dallas Cowboys 2022 Draft Grades: Fan anger/coach jubilee/time will tell

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With their first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft the Dallas Cowboys select…

Tyler Smith, OL


6-foot-5, 324lbs

The first pick was by far the most controversial. Aside from the Dallas Cowboys always-supportive loyalists, just about every Cowboys draftnik experienced some degree of dissatisfaction with the pick. Ranked as the 50th player in the draft by Dane Brugler, the Cowboys snagged him 24th overall.

Blue-chippers like Zion Johnson and Kenyon Green were supposed to be the pick (or so we thought). If the Cowboys went the untraditional route and picked guard in the first round (guard is generally regarded as a low-value position), they were supposed to get a sure thing, plug-and-play Pro Bowler.

Instead they got Tyler Smith.

The Dallas Cowboys have loved Tyler Smith for months. Like Jalen Tolbert and Sam Williams, he was a coach’s pick and was much higher on the Cowboys board than most independent Big Boards. Contrary to what many have said, it’s believable he was going to be picked later in the first round if Dallas hadn’t had pulled the trigger at 24.

Where the pick deserves criticism is in just about every other facet. As discussed earlier, positional value isn’t great. Most NFL starting guards are NOT found in the first two rounds so the opportunity cost of filling the position with the top pick is significant.

highly regarded players like Tyler Linderbaum, Jermaine Johnson, Devin Lloyd were all on the board at the time Dallas went on the clock.

Speaking of opportunity – highly regarded players like Tyler Linderbaum, Jermaine Johnson, Devin Lloyd were all on the board at the time the Dallas Cowboys went on the clock.  They each played positions of need and two played at higher value positions.

Risk is also a concern.

While Smith could certainly develop into a Pro Bowler one day, he’s undeniably raw and even Stephen Jones wouldn’t go so far to say he’d be starting right away. So the Cowboys basically passed on safer players, at higher value positions and playing at positions of need, all to pick a project player with a concerning propensity for holding penalties (16).

Again, it’s not about the player himself, it’s about the pick and the factors discussed above. Many believe Smith will be a starter one day and possible Pro Bowler. But the pick has issues in all the ways we discussed and that’s what we grade.

Pick 24 Grade: D

Giving extra weight to the higher picks (most to pick 24) and grading the picks (not necessarily the players) and circumstances surrounding the picks (detailed in the intro), the Dallas Cowboys final draft grade is a C+.

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How these players ultimately turn out will have little to no impact on the grades of the picks since the grades are based on the circumstances and not the players, per say (explained in the intro). Stay tuned for our breakdown of UDFA which always seem to make an impact.