WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Let the silly season commence.
It's hard to believe, but this 2022 NFL Draft cycle is already approaching its home stretch. College Pro Days around the country will be wrapping up in the next two weeks, and NFL clubs will turn their focus toward building their board for Draft Night.
This is typically the time of year for endless rumor and speculation, so it's hard to take anything at face value.
Even still, it's interesting to hear the Cowboys' owner and general manager get asked about his team's biggest draft needs – and answer quite candidly. And to hear it from Jerry Jones, the answer is fairly obvious.
"I think that I wouldn't dismiss a great opportunity with a pass rusher," Jones said Monday from the NFL's 2022 Annual Meetings. "Obviously, I'd like to have a young offensive lineman at the positions that you could immediately come in and play."
That sounds about right, judging from the Cowboys' roster to this point. To be fair, this free agency signing period isn't quite over, and the front office could still add pieces in the next month. But with Randy Gregory departing for Denver and both Connor Williams and La'el Collins making their exits in the last few weeks, both of those positions could do with some bolstering in the draft.
Along with receiver, offensive line stands out a bit more than most positions right now. The Cowboys have at least addressed defensive end by signing Dante Fowler Jr. and Dorance Armstrong. As of this writing, the losses of Williams and Collins have yet to be addressed – which is why Jones was specifically asked about drafting an offensive lineman with a Top 100 pick this year.
"Famous last words: We'll get one unless Lamb or Parsons is there," Jones joked.
That's a point worth remembering. The Cowboys were targeting different needs in the last two drafts, when CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons fell into their laps at No. 17 overall and No. 12 overall, specifically. They might not be done acquiring free agents for that specific reason.
For the time being, it's worth emphasizing the obvious: this team could use some help in the trenches. On both sides of the ball.