5 major takeaways from Cowboys unpredictable 2023 NFL Draft

Jul 26, 2022; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy (left) and owner Jerry Jones at
Jul 26, 2022; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy (left) and owner Jerry Jones at / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Just like that, the 2023 NFL Draft is over. Per usual, it didn't go according to plan, the Dallas Cowboys are satisfied with their picks and fans are up in arms that their dream mock drafts didn't come to fruition.

The Cowboys left fans scratching their heads with some of their picks. There was no slam dunk that folks had grown accustomed to in recent years, though Mazi Smith in the first round gave off that energy given the sheer hole he fills in the trenches.

Still, the lack of buzz is no indictment on the class itself. At the end of the day, the draft is one big projection. A true evaluation can't be made until the players take the field for training camp and eventually the regular season.

Desite that, there was a ton to learn from this year's draft. With that, here are our five biggest takeaways from Dallas' performance.

5. Jalen Tolbert will have every chance to prove himself

Unless it was a smokescreen, the Cowboys seemingly had legit interest in drafting a receiver early. Their list of pre-draft visits included first-rounders Zay Flowers and Quentin Johnston, as well as Jalin Hyatt and Jonathan Mingo.

That said, it never seemed like Dallas would prioritize a receiver. After they acquired Brandin Cooks, the value and fit would've had to been perfect. They had chances to draft Cedric Tillman and Marvin Mims in the second round, but opted for Michigan tight end Luke Schoonmaker instead.

What does this all tell us? That Jalen Tolbert is going to get plenty of opportunities after his redshirt rookie year. The Cowboys WR room is thin behind Cooks, CeeDee Lamb and a hopefully rejuvenated Michael Gallup, but that would chage if Tolbert were to emerge as a viable fourth option.

That's hardly asking a lot for a 2022 third-round pick. Tolbert has worked extensively with Dak Prescott this offseason and looks ready to make a mark as a pro after he spent year one learning the playbook and getting acclimated to the speed of the NFL and coverages.