How early is too early to start talking about the 2023 NFL Draft? Never. Never is the correct answer and the only one that will be accepted. After all, what else do we have to do right now. We currently find ourselves in the lull of the offseason, in between the end of the 2022 NFL Draft and the start of training camp, so why not have some fun in the meantime.
With what we know about the Dallas Cowboys right now, and what we can predict based on players who will become free agents after the 2022 season, we can pretty accurately determine the positions they could be targeting next year. With that information in mind, we will use Pro Football Network’s simulator for this way-too-early 2023 mock draft for the Cowboys.
Round 1 - CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State
Anthony Brown is entering the final year of his contract, Jourdan Lewis is a potential salary-cap casualty after the season, and no one else is has really stepped up as a potential starting caliber player opposite Trevon Diggs in 2023. Yes, this would be the third year in a row the Cowboys drafted a cornerback after taking Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright in 2020 and DaRon Bland in 2021, but that’s just the way the cards have fallen.
At 6’2”, 196 pounds, Joey Porter Jr. is tailor-made to play outside CB in Dan Quinn’s system. His dad is former All-Pro linebacker Joey Porter, so he has the NFL bloodlines and plays with the same kind of tenacity and toughness as his dad. The duo of Porter Jr. and Trevon Diggs has the upside to be an elite tandem on the outside for the Cowboys for years to come and could be among the best cornerback pairings around.
Round 2 - RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
Prepare yourselves, because 2022 could very well be the last time we see either Ezekiel Elliott or Tony Pollard in a Cowboys uniform. With Pollard entering the final year of his rookie contract and Zeke potentially getting the Amari Cooper treatment after the season - Cowboys have an out in his contract - Dallas could be eyeing the running back position pretty closely heading into the 2023 NFL Draft for their new starter at the position.
Jahmyr Gibbs, a Georgia Tech transfer, is expected to light it up in 2022 at Alabama, becoming the next Crimson Tide running back to make a name for himself. The 5’11”, 200-pound running back is expected to be a legit Heisman contender this year, and for good reason. He is a triple -type of player as a runner, receiver, and return man. He is a home run threat anytime he touches the ball and has often been compared to Alvin Kamara.
Round 3 - OG Javion Cohen, Alabama
Get ready for another offseason chocked full of of talk about the Cowboys offensive line, particularly the left guard position once again. While Tyler Smith will hopefully hold down the fort as Connor Williams replacement at left guard in 2022, the long-term goal for him is to be Tyron Smith heir apparent, which could be as early as next year. That means Dallas will be looking for another guard prospect if that is indeed the way things play out.
Javion Cohen has the privilege of blocking in the running and passing game for two of the best players at their given positions in QB Bryce Young and RB Jahmyr Gibbs this year, which should only help his draft stock. The 6’4”, 305-pound guard didn’t give up a single sack in 2021, despite playing through a wrist injury that hampered his performance. He would likely be a plug-and-play left guard for Dallas and help solidify the offensive line that is quietly going through a transformation.