The 2022 NFL Combine kicks off next Tuesday, and teams across the league will have a chance to get a closer look at many of the players that will be selected at the draft. For the Cowboys, they may be targeting plenty of offensive players as they try to reload an offense that faced some inconsistencies this past year.
Here are six names to keep an eye on next week.
Kenyon Green, G - Texas A&M
The offensive line is going to be the focus for the Cowboys this year, as their unit was highly inconsistent all year long. They’re also poised to lose a starter in Connor Williams, who’s set to be a free agent, and Connor McGovern didn’t inspire confidence in his brief stint as the starting left guard this past year.
That’s made Kenyon Green a popular pick for the Cowboys at 24 in mock drafts already. Green has experience playing both guard spots, as well as right tackle, giving him the kind of versatility that Dallas once loved about Williams. Unlike him, though, Green is a powerful mauler, especially in the run game where he shined as a pulling blocker for the Aggies. He also displayed an improved ability at avoiding penalties in his final season, something Williams never mastered in Dallas.
The biggest concern for the Cowboys regarding Green right now is whether he’ll still be on the board at 24, and a great combine performance next week could dash this dream.
Zion Johnson, G - Boston College
Widely considered the next best guard prospect in this draft, Zion Johnson becomes a very likely target for Dallas if Green is indeed selected before 24. That’s what ended up happening in my most recent mock draft.
Johnson came to Boston College after originally playing for FCS school Davidson. At Boston College, Johnson spent two years starting at left guard and one at left tackle. Then he turned heads at the Senior Bowl, where he primarily played center. Johnson has similar traits to Green, especially when it comes to his physical style of play. Johnson is probably only a guard at the next level, but that’s what the Cowboys need most right now. They’ll be able to get a good look at him at the combine.
Sean Rhyan, G - UCLA
Sensing a trend yet? While the Cowboys’ best shot at finding a day one starter at left guard is likely coming with the 24th pick, there will be options later on. Sean Rhyan played left tackle for the Bruins but seems destined to play guard due to a lack of sufficient length.
Rhyan is a strong and agile lineman who excelled pulling and being a lead blocker, something he’d do a lot of in Dallas. He’s not a mauler like Green or Johnson, but Rhyan is certainly no slouch either. The Cowboys could potentially target Rhyan in the second or third round, depending on how his draft stock fluctuates after the combine.
Jalen Wydermyer, TE - Texas A&M
Dalton Schultz’s contract is up, and he’s looking likely to get a huge pay day in free agency with the Cowboys unlikely to tag him. That means Blake Jarwin will once again be the top tight end in Dallas, but the Cowboys will need to boost the position given Jarwin’s injury history.
Jalen Wydermyer immediately becomes a top target if indeed that’s the approach Dallas takes. Wydermyer is an athletic receiving tight end who has room to improve as a blocker, but could easily help replace the production Schultz has posted the last two years. The Cowboys could target him with either of their Day 2 picks, but Wydermyer has a great chance at boosting his stock next week.
Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE - Maryland
If the Cowboys don’t go after Wydermyer, Maryland’s Chigoziem Okonkwo would be a great consolation prize. He missed the whole 2020 season with myocarditis caused by COVID-19, but returned in 2021 to have a great year.
Okonkwo is best described as a really big wide receiver, and it wouldn’t be completely out of line to label him a discount Kyle Pitts. Okonkwo’s draft stock is surrounded by questions, mostly stemming from his missed 2020 season, but he should test well at the combine and be able to provide some clarity about his medicals.
The Cowboys nabbed him in the fourth round in my most recent mock draft, but he could end up going much higher if the concerns teams have about him are laid to rest.
Chris Olave/Garrett Wilson, WRs - Ohio State
I’m cheating a bit here and listing both of the Ohio State wide receivers because they’re both near the top of every team’s wish list. That goes doubly so for Dallas, who seems likely to be in the receiver market with Michael Gallup set to be a free agent and Amari Cooper possibly becoming a cap casualty.
The issue right now for teams across the board is there’s no real consensus top receiver right now, but both Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson are in contention for that title. How they - and other receivers - fare at the combine will provide at least some clarity to that question, which in turn will help the Cowboys figure out if one or both of these electric receivers might be available at 24.