In 2021, the Dallas Cowboys were incredibly fortunate to land a player to the pedigree of Micah Parsons. Outside of him, the rookie class if full of question marks and a small handful of players who’ve yet to display their upside.
Chauncey Golston and Osa Odighizuwa played plenty of snaps on the defensive line. Displaying versatility and skill, as well as raw ability. We saw players like Kelvin Jospeh, Nahshon Wright, Simi Fehoko, Israel Mukuamu and Jabril Cox in limited capacity. Josh Ball and Matt Farniok have yet to show anything just yet to say they’re a part of the offensive line’s future.
Largely average rookie season from a draft class. The good news is the Cowboys had plenty of quality starters to make up for the number of rookies who weren’t able to fully contribute.
This season, however, the Dallas Cowboys rookies aren’t afforded that luxury. The good news is many are looking good early on.
Players like Tyler Smith and Jalen Tolbert are now thrusted into the starting role. Due to the losses of La’el Collins Connor Williamas, as well as Amari Cooper, Cedrick Wilson, Malik Turner at offensive line and wide receiver. Tolbert’s WR2 spot might be temporary during the rehab of Michael Gallup. Smith, however, continues to display the ferocity and power he showed at Tulsa.
In addition to Smith, the Cowboys might need extra help on the offensive line. Fifth-round pick Matt Waletzko is reportedly looking better than Josh Ball early on, and with how the health and shifting of the offensive line looks, he may be asked to start at some point.
Even players like Jake Ferguson and Sam Williams are going to need to play heavy snaps in rotation. Both play positions where neither is the presumptive starter this season, but will have to play a role in 2022.
Williams, a Dan Quinn favorite, will get opportunities to rotate at right edge behind Dorance Armstrong. Ferguson will be used in a lot of 12-personnel, alongside Dalton Schultz, and could be the heir apparent as TE1.
Other defensive draftees like John Ridgeway and Devin Harper are going to primarily be depth pieces to start. Harper as a special teams player and rotational WILL LB, and Ridgeway as a pure nose tackle, defending the run. Niche, but necessary positions.
Finally, there will be many undrafted free agents who make the squad. Especially players like Jonathan Garibay, the favorite to be the Dallas Cowboys place kicker. As well as Markquese Bell, who plays similarly to Jayron Kearse, as a flexible safety/LB who will fill many areas on defense.
The Dallas Cowboys desire to be younger and cheaper will be on full display this season. Whether they’re ready or not.
Many of these rookies are having a great off-season. As a whole, they’ll need to do what last year’s rookie class didn’t need to; overproduce. This year’s crop of rookies won’t get the luxury to sit and wait if this team wants to capitalize on the team’s success.
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