After months of mock drafts, speculation, and rumors, the 2022 NFL Draft has finally come to a close. The Dallas Cowboys have added nine players to the roster who are ready and willing to compete for a spot when rookie minicamps begin in a few short weeks.
After an offseason that saw the Cowboys lose several key pieces of the team on both sides of the ball, the front office knew how important the draft was. This year, Dallas seemed very tied to their big board. Instead of opting to take the best player available in any of the rounds, the Cowboys drafted players they knew and spoke to ahead of time. When the Joneses know what they want, they don’t care who else is available. Hopefully, that plan pays off.
To refresh your memory from Days 1 and 2, here is who the Cowboys selected in the first three rounds of the draft:
- Round 1, Pick 24: Tulsa OT Tyler Smith
- Round 2, Pick 56: Ole Miss DE Sam Williams
- Round 3, Pick 88: South Alabama WR Jalen Tolbert
Smith seemed like a very random selection, but Jerry Jones proved he wasn’t by literally revealing the Cowboys’ big board to the press. Sam Williams was a favorite to Dallas for several weeks despite off-field issues. Tolbert had a good inkling he’d go to Dallas when he got a phone call from Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott earlier in the week. These three choices fill three pressing needs for America’s Team despite the fact that they weren’t the best available players on the board at the time of the selection.
Day 3 is where the Cowboys secured more depth. The Cowboys had one selection in Round 4, five in Round 5, and one in Round 6. All but one of their selections were different positions and they are players that Cowboys Nation is certainly excited about. With some hard work, these remaining players can be stellar NFL players. Let’s take a look at the newest members of America’s Team.
Meet the Dallas Cowboys’ six draft selections from Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft
1. Round 4, Pick 129: Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin
After cutting Blake Jarwin due to injury concerns, the Cowboys were forced to put breakout tight end, Dalton Schultz, on a $10.9 million franchise tag. Schultz and the front office still have not worked out a long-term deal, which means the Cowboys may only have Schultz for one more season. Plus, the “depth” behind Schultz is average at best. Jeremy Sprinkle and Sean McKeon combined for seven total receptions in 2021.
Because of all of that, tight end was a clear need for Dallas. Instead of trading up to get some higher prospects like Jeremy Ruckert or Cade Otton, the front office chose to stay put and went with Wisconsin’s Jake Ferguson. The Big 10 tight end is great at getting contested grabs and is hard to bring down after the catch. Ferguson comes from a football family and is a reliable player on the field.
In 2021, he was a first-team All-Big Ten selection. He caught a team-high 46 receptions for 450 yards and three touchdowns. He will have no issues competing for the TE2 spot on the roster. Ferguson may not be a Pro Bowler anytime soon, but he certainly has the potential to be in the NFL as a reliable target for many years to come. The Cowboys likely were impressed by Ferguson’s touchdown and multiple receptions in the Senior Bowl. Now, he gets to learn from Schultz and make his mark in Dallas.
2. Round 5, Pick 155: Matt Waletzko, OT, North Dakota
With a pick the team received as part of the compensation for the Amari Cooper trade, the Cowboys added a massive offensive tackle to help fill major gaps on the O-Line. Matt Waletzko is a big kid. He measures in at 6-8 and 312 pounds. He will have a lot of learning to do in the Cowboys system, but his size isn’t something you can teach.
Dallas usually likes to stick with Power 5 schools, but Waletzko marked the third player in this draft from a non-Power 5 school. While some experience against tougher competition would be ideal, his film shows serious strength. Waletzko will likely compete with Terence Steele for a starting tackle job.
His long limbs and massive arm length will help him in the NFL, and he certainly has room to add more weight and muscle in the weight room. The North Dakota prospect has good quickness and was a three-year starter. This addition certainly has developmental upside.