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Looking Ahead to 5 Possible Needs for the Dallas Cowboys in 2022

The just concluded, but it’s never too soon to look ahead to the 2022 and try to figure out what might be the needs of the team a year from now. Because the Dallas more often than not go into with one-year deals in mind, it means every year there will be a certain amount of turnover that takes place.

Team building isn’t a year-to-year proposition. The department and the takes a multi-year approach when it comes to addressing in free agency and in the draft, most notably in the draft. Players they selected this year may not be year-one starters for the team, but perhaps are vying for a starting spot in year two.

Let’s take a look ahead at some possible needs for the 2022 .

1. Offensive Tackle

How many more years will we get out of Tyron Smith’s neck and back? This is the question that will come up every offseason. And every offseason, the Cowboys will need to have a backup plan capable of playing at least three games for them in that season. Smith has missed at least three games a season since 2016.

La’el Collins showed some warts last year as well. The Dallas Cowboys are looking to get by with these two, hoping they’ll return to an optimal level of health, but they hedged their bets by veteran offensive in free agency.

At some point they’ll need a long-term option to replace Smith and 2022 might be the year to pull the trigger. But much of their need for offensive tackle will depend on how healthy Smith and Collins are in 2021.

2. Safety

No, not this again…

Unfortunately, yes. This again.

Another year has gone by and another where the Dallas Cowboys didn’t or couldn’t find a long-term answer at the safety position.

In free agency, the Cowboys went out and signed Demontae Kazee to play free safety in ’s cover-3 scheme, but he’s only on a one-year deal. He’ll go to free agency again next year. If he has a bounce-back season and can stay healthy, will the Dallas Cowboys look to re-sign him next offseason? says no.

Kazee and safety converted to , have the looks of one-year signings that will bring a compensatory pick when they leave in free agency in 2022. So we’ll get to spend another offseason evaluating safeties in free agency and the draft.

But will the Cowboys continue to look for a stop-gap answer or a long-term solution to the position?

3. Wide Receiver

This one comes down to what the Dallas Cowboys do with Michael Gallup. It’s rumored that Gallup would like to stay in Dallas and continue his career, but so much of his future will depend on the price point. Gallup has been fantastic in his three years with the Cowboys, notching a thousand-yard season in 2019, and was on the cusp of one in 2020 despite playing with three backup quarterbacks for 11 games.

and are in the final years of their contract. The Cowboys just spent a sixth-round pick on Stanford’s Semi Fehoko, who has the traits to take over for Gallup if he were to depart in the 2022 offseason.

However, even if Fehoko is the plan as the WR3 for Dallas, they wouldn’t go into the with him as third on the unless he has a breakout season. So, it’s likely that they’ll have to go into the looking for Gallup’s replacement or another late-round flier to compete with Fehoko for snaps.

4. EDGE Rusher

Randy Gregory is going into the final year of his contract in 2021 and still a largely unproven player. Not from the sense that he can’t play, but more from the sense can he give you high-level defensive end play for a 17 game season. He’s the player I’m most intrigued to watch this Summer and Fall as he’ll get his first full offseason with the team in what feels like forever.

Gregory had a solid second half of the season for the Dallas Cowboys and was good enough for the team to move on from . But can Gregory put together a full 17 season and earn a long-term deal with the Cowboys? I think so, but it remains to be seen.

will still be under contract in 2022, but if Gregory is unable to take a step forward to playing a complete season, then the Cowboys will have an edge rusher need opposite of Lawrence.

Sure, the team has and they just drafted , but neither player has played enough NFL snaps (Anae has just six defensive snaps) to project into the starting lineup.

5. Guard

Connor Williams is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He’s been solid, but hasn’t necessarily been so good that you feel like you have to bring him back. The guy that has competed for that job and will likely do so again this year, hasn’t really shown enough to think you could roll with him in 2022. So guard becomes a potential need for the Dallas Cowboys in 2022.

Barring health, the rest of the is in pretty good shape if can take a step forward in 2021 and stay healthy himself. However, guard looks to be the place where the Cowboys could look to upgrade or add competition in the 2022 NFL Draft.

What do you think?

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Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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3 Comments

  1. With the corner back position the coaches need to evaluate all of the talent that they currently have with the team. I agree that there is always room for improvement in this area. Can Joseph do the job? This is very questionable. He does try when he is out there in that position. I would use him as a fill in but not a starter. I would say that should the team find a high quality player for that position then they need to get that player ASAP through the draft or free agency etc.

  2. Cowboys need a shut down cornerback having lost out on Horn and Surtain in draft. Can’t assume that Joseph can fill that role. They should trade for Gilmore possibly with Gallup and some draft capital if needed as both are entering their last year on rookie contract. They can move somebody else to safety either existing player or draft pick.
    You get what you pay for.
    Enough going for the serviceable player.
    Time for Cowboys to make big move in secondary which is their biggest deficiency.

  3. One more I might would add is TE, Schultz is gonna be a FA after this year, and we don’t know how much Jarwin’s injury will effect his play, might have a hole there

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