Cowboys tied for most top players under 25 per PFF

Dallas Cowboys (Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys (Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports) /

With collegiate players getting an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19, there are many players entering the NFL these days that are far older than rookies of the past. There is statistical evidence to show this, too. According to an article by Defector, the average age of the 2017-2021 draft classes was between 23.07 and 23.15 years old. In 2022, the average was a whole year older at 24.11. The Dallas Cowboys happened to get one of the youngest guys in the draft as Tyler Smith had just turned 21 years old a few weeks before Draft Day.

All of this is to say that these days, you don’t have as many 21-year-olds entering the league. In a sport where age truly matters due to how hard football is on your body, age is more than just a number. Every year, Pro Football Focus does a list of the top 25 players in the league under 25 years old. This year, the Cowboys tied for the most players on the list with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with three names. PFF deems this list an “overall talent recognition” rather than who you’d retake in the draft.

One major requirement is that the person has to be under 25 at the start of next season, which means talented players like Kyler Murray and A.J. Brown were not eligible. The top player on the list was San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa. Bosa was followed by Justin Herbert, Jonathan Taylor, Tristan Wirfs, and Justin Jefferson in numerical order. For the Cowboys, the three players were LB Micah Parsons, WR CeeDee Lamb, and CB Trevon Diggs.

Cowboys have three players on PFF’s list of top 25 players under 25 years old

Let’s see where these Cowboys rank on the list:

Micah Parsons – No. 6: The only other linebacker on the list was Tampa Bay’s Devin White. Parsons is currently 22 but will turn 23 on May 26. With a physical position like linebacker, being young is incredibly helpful. Defenders often deal with injuries and don’t have incredibly lengthy careers. The Cowboys still get three more affordable years out of Parsons on his rookie contract, which is a huge win for Dallas. What’s even more impressive is that the Penn State product sat out his final season due to Covid. That means even less wear and tear on his body.

CeeDee Lamb – No. 17: Lamb joins Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, DK Metcalf, and Tee Higgins as wide receivers on the list. Lamb is quite young. He just turned 23 in April and is already entering his third year in the NFL. This year brings the wide receiver a big opportunity to become the star receiver of the Cowboys. With Amari Cooper in Cleveland and Michael Gallup out for a few games due to a late-season ACL tear, Lamb has a chance to have a career year as a WR1 for Dallas.

Trevon Diggs – No. 25: Rounding out the list was the breakout cornerback. Diggs is also 23 years old and won’t turn 24 until mid-September. It was surprising seeing PFF include the cornerback on this list given they have often criticized him for giving up many yards in coverage. However, the ball-hawking abilities that Diggs possesses are undeniable. Next year, Dallas will likely have to show him big bucks to keep him on the team for future years.

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