Some of Dallas’ rookies will be day-one starters. Others will be backups, either worked into the rotation or riding the bench for depth.
Either way, all will be expected to contribute in some form in 2022. So, I predicted what each drafted rookie will contribute this season.
Not included are offensive linemen because you can’t put stats to those guys (at least most of the time). There also is an undrafted free agent here, and you’ll see why when you get there.
EDGE Sam “De” Williams
34 tackles, 6 TFL, 4 sacks, 10 QB hits
Like most guys here, it’s tough to predict how much Williams will rotate amongst Dallas’ edge rushers. With Dorance Armstrong and Dante Fowler Jr. fighting for reps, who knows how many will go to Williams.
However, I expect the Cowboys to try and get a return on their second-round investment. Williams seemed to be a selection personally made by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, and I’m almost sure he’ll get him on the field as much as possible.
Williams won’t start every game, but he’ll have a solid rookie season
WR Jalen Tolbert
40 receptions, 578 yards, 4 touchdowns
I expect Tolbert to have a season similar to Cedrick Wilson’s in 2021. He won’t do anything that shocks the world, but he’ll contribute enough to make people notice.
His best-case scenario is becoming the Cowboys’ permanent No. 3 wide receiver, which is an excellent spot for him.
TE Jake Ferguson
30 receptions, 345 yards, 2 touchdowns
This would be a decent stat line for Ferguson if he earns the No. 2 tight end spot. Dalton Schultz has the starting tight end spot on lockdown (for now), so Ferguson will likely be the backup.
In 2022, I think he’ll do just that. Ferguson can build a solid foundation for his career with this production.
CB DaRon Bland
14 tackles, 4 passes defended, 1 interception
Bland will play, at most, a depth role this season. He could play more if someone is injured, but I don’t see him being one of Dallas’ primary cornerbacks in 2022.
Maybe, he can become that later in his career. But, he was drafted as a depth piece, and he’ll be exactly that in his rookie season.
DT John Ridgeway
16 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 sacks, 5 QB hits
Given the amount of rotation Dallas will probably do at defensive tackle, I feel this is a good enough stat line for Ridgeway. He’ll be a run-stuffer, get in the backfield and do exactly what he was brought in to do.
This is assuming Ridgeway even makes the team in the first place. Given the competition at his position, that’s not a guarantee. But, if he does, he can make at least a small contribution.
LB Devin Harper
9 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 pass defended
He may not make the 53-man roster at all and could open the season on the practice squad. But, if he does make it, Harper will be what Jabril Cox was last year. He’ll get most of his reps on special teams and very few on defense.
K Jonathan Garibay
36/38 on field goals, 46/47 on extra points
Garibay was an accurate kicker at Texas Tech, and I expect him to continue this in the NFL. He’ll have some rookie struggles and miss a few field goals, but he’ll be a straight arrow overall. Garibay will impress and could earn a spot on the All-Rookie team.