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How Anticipated Absences Could Affect Cowboys 2022 Draft

Assessing the Cowboys' needs for the 2022 can be a difficult balancing act. Not all roster positions carry the same weight and some aren't as clear as others based on what we know of the current talent. Another factor to consider is players who are expected to miss games in 2022; how much could these anticipated absences affect Dallas' plans?

One of these possible scenarios has already been dealt with this . After talk that Tight End 's hip issue could cause him to miss the entire season, or at least a considerable portion, Dallas released him for some cap relief. That decision may have also contributed to getting the and could lead to TE getting some help early in the draft.

Speaking of pass catchers, Michael Gallup is an even more critical offensive weapon than Jarwin and there's concern he won't be ready in September due to recent ACL surgery. Dallas was confident enough in Gallup's recovery to give him a new five-year contract in March, but now have to plan for probably being without one of their starting receivers to start the season.

Signing , an experienced veteran from Pittsburgh, will help. But the luxury of having a guy like , now a Dolphin, as your number-four receiver is gone. Neither or have the proven ability to step into a WR3 role at this time.

Even if Gallup was 100% healthy many would still clamor for the Cowboys to prioritize WR in this draft. With Washington only here on a one-year deal, finding a young prospect who complements Gallup and and completes the trio for the next 4-5 years would be a good addition.

But with Michael potentially missing the first quarter of the season or more, gets bumped up the needs list even more. Even with Lamb and Gallup in place for years to come, Dallas could justify using a 1st-round pick at the position in this increasingly pass-focused league.

Tyron Smith

A different form of anticipated absences comes from veteran Tyron Smith. While not dealing with an issue the way Gallup is, Smith's recent uptick in missed games and general history for the last six years makes it hard to rely on him for 17 games in 2022.

After missing three games each year from 2016-2019, Tyron only played in two games in 2020 before neck surgery and then missed six in 2021 with an ankle sprain. Even if Smith's past both issues now, one can't help but wonder what the next malady will be.

The veteran's health issues and even general age and mileage at this point make his backup a key concern. After La'el Collins got discarded this offseason and presumably moved into a starting job at , second-year prospect is the likely candidate to serve as swing .

Ball missed his entire rookie season as an “redshirt” after a ankle gave Dallas the opportunity to stash him on . But while personal issues dropped Josh to the 4th Round in 2021 more than playing ability, can the Cowboys really trust him as the next man up behind Tyron?

Again, this makes OT a position of significance for the 2022 Draft. Dallas may have supreme confidence in Josh Ball based on their and what he showed in training camp, but only they know that for certain. If there are doubts, we could see an early pick go towards a current backup and eventual replacement for Tyron Smith at .

Another situation altogether has just come up at . After recent news surrounding Kelvin Joseph's involvement in a homicide investigation, we're now waiting to see what will do with the information.

are naturally leery of Goodell's handling of anything related to Dallas players and the NFL's personal conduct policy. If Joseph does face a suspension then the Cowboys would be left with , , and as their only reliable CB talent.

Joseph didn't play much in 2021 due to groin issues but was coming on towards the end of the year. His absence would be a severe hit to the depth at corner, leaving raw prospect Nahshon Wright as the fourth man and dangerously close to starting.

Unfortunately, the league's review and decision on Joseph's future isn't likely to come in the next two weeks. Dallas will have to go into the draft with that uncertainty and could wind up spending a higher pick at cornerback than they would have otherwise.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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