The NFL Draft has proven over the years that you can still find elite talent on day two. In recent history, the Dallas Cowboys have been hit or miss in the second round. Some of the hits include DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, and Trevon Diggs. But, when they have missed it has been ugly. That list of bad selections includes Trysten Hill, Jaylon Smith, and Gavin Escobar.
In the 2022 NFL Draft, their second-round pick is 56th overall, and they can not afford another mistake on a second-round pick. With their current salary cap struggles, finding an impact player in the second round becomes even more imperative. Getting good players and getting to pay them less on their rookie contracts has always been a successful way to build a championship roster.
With the NFL Combine quickly approaching many collegiate players’ draft stock will rise and fall. It’s all about the Cowboys knowing what they need and knowing who could make a real impact on the roster.
Here are 3 second-round steals the Cowboys could make in the 2022 NFL Draft
3. Travis Jones, Defensive Tackle, UConn
It has been apparent for years that the Cowboys need help on the interior defensive line. The 2022 draft class seems like a good place to address the issue. Travis Jones from Connecticut showed out at the Senior Bowl a few weeks ago and cemented himself as a day two pick at worst.
Jones is 6-5, 333 pounds and can eat up blockers with the best of them. He is used to taking on double teams since he was the best lineman on UConn’s team and saw plenty of them. Also, he can do a decent job pushing the pocket on obvious passing downs. He collected 4.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss in 2021.
Based on the Cowboys’ current defensive tackle group, I think Jones would be a day one starter in Dallas. They need a player who can make an impact on all three downs, and I believe Jones can develop into that.
An interesting stat about Jones is that he played 50+ snaps in 9 of 11 games last season. This means he is a true three-down player who can bring Dallas durability. That could make him more valuable than say Jordan Davis from Georgia who was taken off the field on passing downs.
On Pro Football Focus’ Big Board, Jones is ranked as the 45th player. So he is within the realm of possibility to still be on the board when the Cowboys come on the clock at 56. If Jones is still available, it would be a huge victory for Dallas.