As free agency slows we start to look ahead with a little more intensity to the upcoming NFL draft. The Cowboys have pick #24 in the first round, and that leads to a lot of uncertainty when mocking the pick because of all the variations of who could still be on the board. We took a look at eight recent mocks to get a flavor of what people are thinking for the Cowboys.
The most common pick was EDGE George Karlaftis.
24. Dallas Cowboys | Purdue EDGE George Karlaftis
The Cowboys managed to let Randy Gregory get away, and while Dante Fowler Jr. might still have something left in the tank, he’s not a long-term solution opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. Karlaftis is one of the most well-rounded edge defenders in this year’s deep class, and would be a fantastic blend of need and value here.
George Karlaftis EDGE PURDUE • JR • 6’4” / 266 LBS
Dallas signed Dante Fowler Jr. to counteract the loss of Randy Gregory but Atlanta and Los Angeles have already shook that tree and it has little fruit left to bear. They need a long-term plan and Karlaftis is a player that justifies being taken higher in my opinion. He gives them another young piece to that defensive front.
24. Cowboys George Karlaftis EDGE, Purdue
Dallas thought they had a deal in place to retain edge defender Randy Gregory just for the Broncos to come in at the last minute and swoop. The loss of Gregory leaves a hole opposite DeMarcus Lawrence and the team must add additional help off the edge.
Purdue’s George Karlaftis is a densely built and powerful edge defender who plays with a non-stop motor. He would go a long way in shoring up this defensive front.
This is a hard one for me to buy. Why? Because Jerry Jones has already hinted very strongly about the Cowboys plans, and one thing Jerry rarely does is lie to the camera. In fact, he generally gives away too much information. So we should buy what he is saying about the offensive line.
Will the Cowboys select an offensive lineman early in next month’s draft? Team owner Jerry Jones: “Famous last words: We’ll get one unless Lamb or Parsons is there.” pic.twitter.com/BKNZM1NNM0— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) March 28, 2022
I don’t think anyone considers Karlaftis a (CeeDee) Lamb or a (Micah) Parsons. He is a good player and definitely an option here, but combine the words of Jerry Jones with the fact they re-signed Dorance Armstrong and brought on Dante Fowler, and it doesn’t seem to be the way they would go here unless a real EDGE stud somehow fell this far.
It’s not that the Cowboys couldn’t use another pass rusher, they always can. It just seems like they don’t think it’s as big of an issue as these mockers do.
Boye Mafe - Minnesota · Edge · Senior (RS)
If defensive coordinator Dan Quinn wants an energetic edge rusher to add to the rotation, Mafe might be the pick. The Minnesota standout is a Tasmanian devil off the edges, with a relentless playing style that wears down opponents.
Basically, see the above response and use it here.
24. Dallas Cowboys – Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
Casting off La’el Collins and letting Connor Williams walk reinforced that Dallas’ offensive line has taken a serious step back. While adding Linderbaum would not fill either of the voids created by the offseason loss, the selection would represent a return to the approach that set the Cowboys up for success when they selected Tyron Smith, Tyler Frederick and Zack Martin with three of their four first-round picks from 2011-14.
This is the general area where Dallas is likely going to go. They are going to take a shot at re-building their offensive line. The path of free agency so far seems to indicate that with no real signings in the area and the loss of two starters.
It’s just a matter of where they want to go on the line. And if Linderbaum, the consensus top center on the board is still available, they might not be able to pass that up.
24. Dallas Cowboys: Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M
Jerry Jones didn’t exactly hide his intentions at the league meetings this week when he told reporters how important it will be to add offensive line help through the draft. In this slot, the Cowboys grab Green to play guard and bump him out to tackle in a pinch when needed.
Now we’re getting to the patch for a real hole. They can play Terence Steele in place of La’el Collins, and they have Tyler Biadasz at center, but they probably don’t want to start Connor McGovern at guard given his rocky performance for part of last year. Green would be tasked with filling that hole.
24) Dallas Cowboys: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
Jerry Jones practically telegraphed the Cowboys’ first-round pick. Things fell into place here in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. They’re going to fix the offensive line if it’s the last thing they ever do.
Zion Johnson has the ability to go much higher in the draft, but positional value and a perceived lack of need on the interior for most teams make this selection a realistic possibility. Dallas could look at a receiver here as well.
Or maybe you prefer Johnson to Green. Either way, the Cowboys are hitting the same problem.
Big Board Rank: 13
Profile: 6’6”, 303 | Age: 24 (September 23, 1997)
One of the biggest risers following the 2021 college football season, Raimann earned a 94.6 overall grade, 88.7 pass-blocking grade and 94.6 run-blocking grade with Central Michigan this year. He didn’t earn a PFF grade above 75.1 in any season prior. Expect his 2021 campaign and a strong Senior Bowl to vault him into the first round.
If there is an offensive tackle available that they think could be a cornerstone for the future, they could go that way with Tyron Smith’s career winding down and Steele still trying to prove himself.
What’s your call BTB?