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What the Cowboys depth chart looks like after the 2022 NFL Draft

Our first look at the main pieces on the roster for the 2022 Cowboys.

NFL: APR 28 2022 Draft Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have their 2022 NFL Draft class in place and have signed nineteen UDFAs. Now we have months to pour over the names and try to sort out the eventual 53-man roster. This will refine itself once training camp comes around, but for now, here is a first guess at what the depth chart looks like.

First look at the Cowboys depth chart

Position Starter/Key role player Backup Backup UDFA to watch
Position Starter/Key role player Backup Backup UDFA to watch
OFFENSE
QB Dak Prescott Cooper Rush Will Grier
RB Ezekiel Elliott Rico Dowdle JaQuan Hardy Malik Davis
RB Tony Pollard Sewo Olonilua
WR CeeDee Lamb Noah Brown Dontario Drummond
WR Jalen Tolbert (R) Semi Fehoko
WR James Washington TJ Vasher
TE Dalton Schultz Jeremy Sprinkle Sean McKeon
TE Jake Ferguson (R)
LT Tyron Smith Matt Waltezko (R)
LG Tyler Smith (R) Connor McGovern Amon Simon
C Tyler Biadasz Matt Farniok Alec Lindstrom
RG Zack Martin
RT Terence Steele Josh Ball
DEFENSE
LDE DeMarcus Lawrence De Williams (R) Dante Fowler
DT Osa Odighizuwa Carlos Watkins Trysten Hill
DT/NT Neville Gallimore John Ridgeway (R) Quinton Bohanna
RDE Dorance Armstrong Tarell Basham Chauncey Golston
WLB Micah Parson Jabril Cox Mikah Tafua
MLB Leighton Vander Esch Devin Harper (R) Luke Gifford
CB Trevon Diggs Kelvin Joseph Nahshon Wright
CB Anthony Brown DaRon Bland (R) CJ Goodwin
SCB Jourdan Lewis
S Jayron Kearse Malik Hooker Markquese Bell
S Donovan Wilson Israel Mukuamu Juanyeh Thomas
SPECIALISTS
K Chris Naggar Jonathan Garibay
P Bryan Anger
LS Jake McQuaide
PUP Michael Gallup Damone Clark (R)

A few notes. This includes only 66 names. It is the ones that should have the best chance of making the roster. It leaves off players who are not likely to make it out of camp, including most of the UDFAs. The UDFAs to watch listed here are mostly a guess at who will have the best chance of breaking through in camp and preseason. Of those, kicker Jonathan Garibay probably has the best chance of making the team. It also assumes both Michael Gallup and rookie Damone Clark will start the year on PUP. Any additional outside free agents signed from this point would be added to this group.

The Cowboys did not add any quarterbacks at all, which is not surprising. Some may still feel a bit uneasy at sticking with Cooper Rush as QB2 behind Dak Prescott, but that was how the team rolled last season, and there is no indication the staff has any qualms.

Running back also looks to be largely settled, at least for camp. However, the backups here (counting Tony Pollard a lock as a COP asset) are not at all firm, and Malik Davis is another UDFA to watch here.

While the Cowboys took more defensive than offensive players in the draft, the two rookies who can be expected to contend right out of the gate for starting jobs are Tyler Smith, expected to kick inside to play LG, and Jalen Tolbert, who will fill in for Gallup while the latter recovers from his injury. Jake Ferguson is probably going to be the TE2 when Dallas goes with 12 or 22 personnel, although Jeremy Sprinkle and Sean McKeon will provide some stiff competition.

The offensive line offers some potentially big camp battles. One has already been tipped by EVP Stephen Jones.

This also makes the signing of Alec Lindstrom interesting. Tyler Biadasz has been put on notice. Matt Waletzko also could push Josh Ball off the roster after some remarks that Ball is seen as an option at RT only. It would be preferable to have a pure swing tackle rather than have to shuffle Smith out to LT should Tyron Smith have to miss games, which has become the expectation in recent seasons.

On defense, none of the rookies look to be immediate starters, although John Ridgeway may technically start games. He is seen as an option at nose tackle for his ability against the run. He would still likely only see about 20 or so snaps a game, coming off the field for passing situations. Williams could have a larger role even as a rotational pass rusher. Both Bland and Harper should make their biggest contributions as special teams players.

There will almost certainly be an overlooked name or two that show out in camp. That might translate to a roster spot, but more likely will earn them a spot on the practice squad. The Cowboys have a clear preference for keeping players on the 53 who have been on the roster before.

This is absolutely a rough draft of the depth chart and things will shift as the staff starts to see how they look in practices. That will start in a week or so with the rookie minicamp, and OTAs begin May 24. Those will be very restricted in what can be done on the field, but now that the draft is in the books, it is almost time to start seeing what Dallas has to build that roster.