The Dallas Cowboys are well-established as one of the best drafting teams in the league. Just in the last few years, they’ve netted bonafide superstars in CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons, and gems in the middle rounds including Osa Odighizuwa, Tony Pollard, Donovan Wilson, Dalton Schultz, and yes, Dak Prescott.
The Cowboys had nine picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, and all of them made the 53-man roster coming out of training camp and the preseason. Some got more playing time than others, but that’s to be expected when you consider the talent discrepancy spanning the first and seventh rounds.
After free agency, our attention will eventually shift to the 2023 draft.
Before we dive head-first into the future, though, let’s re-grade Dallas’ 2022 draft class after the first year of their respective careers.
Grading the Cowboys 2022 draft class after Year 1
Round No. 6
Devin Harper – Linebacker
- Oklahoma State, Pick No. 193 overall
By all accounts, the Cowboys stunned folks by drafting Harper, a 24-year-old prospect who was viewed as a development pick. The former-Cowboy-turned-Cowboy carved out a prominent role on John Fassel’s special teams unit, logging a healthy 66 percent snap share before an Achilles injury upended his year.
Harper was injured back in Week 3. He wasn’t placed on IR until late October, though, and just recently (after Dallas’ playoff win over the Buccaneers) was designated to return. He didn’t feature in the Divisional Round loss, and finished his rookie year without playing a single snap on defense.
A defensive role could await Harper in 2023 with Leighton Vander Esch and Anthony Barr both hitting free agency, but it’s not unfair to say the jury is still out on whether he’ll be an important player for the Cowboys.
As of this writing, Damone Clark and even Jabril Cox are ahead of him in the pecking order, and it’s worth noting Dallas’ safeties play a lot of snaps in the box. The odds will be stacked against Harper entering Year 2.