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Way-too-early 2022 Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster prediction

Who stays and who goes for the Cowboys?

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With the 2022 NFL Draft now officially in the books, we can now start turning our attention to what the Dallas Cowboys roster could look like for the upcoming season. With organized team activities (OTA’s), minicamp, and training camp still to come in the coming weeks and months, it’s still way too early to predict with any kind of accuracy what the final 53-man roster will look like. However, that’s exactly what we are going to attempt to do today.


Offense

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QUARTERBACK (2)

Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush

In Dak Prescott and Cooper rush, the Dallas Cowboys have their starter and backup QBs for the 2022 season. Any developmental QB will likely be stashed on the practice squad.

RUNNING BACK (3)

Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, Ryan Nall

The tandem of Zeke and Tony Pollard will reprise their roles as Dallas’ top two RBs and Ryan Nall was one of their few free agent signings who adds depth and special teams value, and can also act as a fullback.

WIDE RECEIVER (5)

CeeDee Lamb, James Washington, Jalen Tolbert, Noah Brown, Semi Fehoko, Michael Gallup

Michael Gallup will likely start the 2022 season on the PUP list, leaving CeeDee Lamb as pretty much the only proven WR currently on the roster. Another free agent addition is possible, however, the Cowboys haven’t shown any signs of going that direction yet.

TIGHT END (3)

Dalton Schultz, Jake Ferguson, Jeremy Sprinkle

Dalton Schultz is the unquestionable starter in 2022, but the pecking order behind him is completely up in the air. Jake Ferguson has a real shot to earn the backup role and the TE3 spot will likely be a fight between Jeremy Sprinkle and Sean McKeon. Sprinkle gets the nod here for his special teams value.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE (4)

Tyron Smith, Terence Steele, Matt Waletzko, Josh Ball

Tyron Smith and Terence Steele are the starting bookends in 2022, leaving Matt Waletzko and Josh Ball to battle it out for the swing tackle role. A veteran addition sounds unlikely considering Tyler Smith’s position flex and if you believe what Jerry and Stephen Jones have been saying.

GUARD (4)

Zack Martin, Tyler Smith, Connor McGovern, Matt Farniok

Zack Martin is a given and Tyler Smith is the odds on favorite to replace Connor Williams at left guard. McGovern will likely continue his role as the primary backup behind them both with Farniok probably serving as the backup guard/center.

CENTER (2)

Tyler Biadasz, James Empey

Tyler Biadasz won’t go unchallenged this year for the starting job at center, however, it’s highly unlikely he gets unseated. James Empey, an undrafted free agent, helps upgrade the depth at the position and provides a solid backup if/when needed.


Defense

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DEFENSIVE TACKLE (5)

Neville Gallimore, Osa Odighizuwa, John Ridgeway, Quinton Bohanna, Carlos Watkins

The only new addition at DT for the Cowboys in 2022 is John Ridgeway, who could play an important role as a rookie this year. Other than that it’s all the same faces except for Trysten Hill, who is looking like the odd man out entering a contract year with younger players drafted by this coaching regime behind him.

DEFENSIVE END (6)

DeMarcus Lawrence, Dorance Armstrong, Chauncey Golston, De Williams, Dante Fowler, Tarell Basham

The only question here is who plays opposite DeMarcus Lawrence this year? Armstrong and Golston provide DE/DT flex for much-needed depth at both positions. Both could be in the running to take over Randy Gregory’s former starting job, but Williams, Fowler, and Basham are in the running as well. This is a neck-and-neck race that will be sorted out in practice.

LINEBACKER (6)

Micah Parsons, Leighton Vander Esch, Jabril Cox, Luke Gifford, Aaron Hansford, free agent (TBA)

Other than Micah Parsons, the Cowboys LB position is a bit of a concern. LVE raises red flags due to his injury history as does Jabril Cox coming back from a season-ending knee injury. Adding another vet free agent would help ease those concerns because the thought of Gifford or Hansford starting is cringe worthy.

CORNERBACK (6)

Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, Nahshon Wright, DaRon Bland, C.J. Goodwin, Kelvin Joseph

The biggest question mark about Dallas’ CB position is whether or not Kelvin Joseph is facing a suspension. Regardless of what happens to Joseph, things should look much like they did in 2021 with Diggs and Brown starting on the outside with Lewis reprising his role as the nickel corner.

SAFETY (4)

Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, Donovan Wilson, Markquese Bell

Jayron Kearse and Malik Hooker are the unquestionable starters with Donovan Wilson serving as the backup for both. Markquese Bell is another undrafted free agent who will make the 53-man roster as a developmental prospect who should play a key role on special teams as a rookie.


Special teams

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SPECIAL TEAMS (3)

LS Jake McQuaide, P Bryan Anger, K Jonathan Garibay

No real surprises here. Jake McQuaide and Bryan Anger were re-signed to reprise their roles as the long snapper and punter in 2022. The real question is who will replace Greg Zuerlein this year? Right now the prediction is Jonathan Garibay wins the gig, however, Chris Naggar has just as good a chance to win it as well. This could be one of the more intriguing position battles to watch throughout the remainder of the offseason.