Believe it or not, but we are already halfway through the 2022 NFL season. The Dallas Cowboys are currently sitting at 6-2 heading into Week 10, and should be refreshed and reinvigorated for the second half of the season after kicking back and relaxing during their bye week.
The Cowboys have already had to overcome quite a few hurdles so far this season, like playing the majority of the year with a backup quarterback, and are still somehow sitting pretty at the midway point. But, that doesn’t mean they should be happy with the way things stand right now. There are always ways to improve both as a team and individually.
Today we are going to focus on certain individuals instead of the Cowboys as a whole. While it’s true everyone could stand to be more productive in the second half of the 2022 season, there are three players in particular who should play a vital role to Dallas’ success moving forward who we will identify and discuss today.
WR Michael Gallup
A late season-ending ACL injury in 2021 prevented Michael Gallup from starting the 2022 season off on the right foot. To date, he’s only played in a total of five games and unfortunately really hasn’t hit his groove as of yet. On the season so far he has only 12 receptions for 135 receiving yards and one touchdown. Those numbers are something we’ve seen him put up in a single game in the past and hopefully will again this season.
In all fairness, No. 13 has only played in two games with his starting QB Dak Prescott while he was out rehabbing from the thumb injury he sustained in the season opener, so his current stats should be taken with a grain of salt. Having said that though, both he and the Cowboys know the production can be much better. Hopefully the time away from the game during the bye week will help him become much more productive moving forward.
TE Dalton Schultz
So far the 2022 season hasn’t been very kind to Dalton Schultz. First, he lost his starting QB Dak Prescott in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the majority of the first half of the year. Additionally, he keeps getting bitten by the injury bug. Because of all of that, he’s only been able to haul in 20 receptions for 203 receiving yards and zero touchdowns in just six games this year with the Dallas Cowboys.
For No. 86, the Dallas Cowboys bye week probably couldn’t have come at a better time. A little time away from the game to relax and get healthy could be exactly what he needs moving forward. If he returns healthy, or close to it, he should once again become one of Dak Prescott’s favorite targets and security blanket in the passing game, and as such, should see his production increased significantly in the second half of the 2022 season.
DT Jonathan Hankins
Unlike Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz before him, Jonathan Hankins has only been with the Dallas Cowboys for a couple of weeks after being acquired via trade from the Los Angeles Raiders. As such, it would be unfair to say he was unproductive in the first half of the 2022 season, however, that doesn’t mean he can’t be have a big impact on the Cowboys run defense. In fact, that’s exactly what both he and the Cowboys are hoping for.
Hankins was acquired via trade to hopefully be the solution to the Cowboys porous run defense in the first seven weeks of the 2022 season. The big-bodied, space-eating DT is expected to play a huge role clogging up the middle for Dallas’ defense moving forward. And, if one game is any indication as to what to expect moving forward, he did exactly that against the Bears in Week 8. Hopefully, that continues for the remainder of the year.