One of the biggest offseason needs for the Dallas Cowboys is their offensive line's interior. Accordingly, CBS Sports currently predicts Boston College's Zion Johnson going to the Dallas Cowboys with the 24th selection.
Dallas made a playoff appearance but was unceremoniously eliminated in the wild card round, failing to make any noise in the process. If the team hopes to make another postseason run next season, they'll need to remedy what is currently ailing them. Drafting Johnson would aid in not only pass protection (33 sacks given up in 2021) but would also help to establish a more dominant run game.
Why should the Cowboys target Zion Johnson?
Selecting at 22 likely puts them out of reach for Northern Iowa's Trevor Penning, so picking up Johnson is a nice consolation. In reality, Johnson makes more sense since the guard position is a bigger need. That's due to Connor Williams being an unrestricted free agent and Connor McGovern likely not being the long-term answer either.
CBS's justification for the pick also mirrors the aforementioned logic: “Dallas needs to start considering the future of its offensive line, and the selection of Johnson goes a long way toward stability. Johnson offers guard-center versatility at the next level and has even shown he is capable of playing tackle in a pinch.”
32 Reps: Zion Johnson, Boston College
— Mario Tovar (@_MarioTovar) March 4, 2022
Johnson's impressive outing at the NFL Combine this weekend will improve his draft stock as he's currently the seventh-ranked interior lineman, according to CBS. Witnessing Johnson show up barefoot to do his bench press, you knew he meant business. Those who were present witnessed a remarkable 32 reps for the potential future Cowboy.
The rest of his combine performance was rounded out by a 5.18 time in his 40-yard dash, a vertical jump of 32 inches, and a 7.38 time in his cone drill. If Jerry Jones does indeed go with Johnson in the first round, he could then target a wide receiver or a safety in the second round, an optimal scenario.