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Draft Central | 2022

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What They're Saying About The 9 Draft Picks


Frisco, Texas – It can be a lot to process.

In the span of three days, the Cowboys have added nine different players to their locker room. And while some are more high-profile than others, all nine picks will have an opportunity to make the final roster in September.

In an effort to help familiarize you with this year's draft class, including a dizzying six picks on Saturday afternoon, the staff of has compiled some information on each prospect from the people who picked them.

Here are the thoughts of Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones, chief operating officer Stephen Jones, head coach Mike McCarthy and executive vice president of player personnel Will McClay on the nine members of their 2022 draft class.

Tyler Smith

Jerry Jones: "I really think we have a player here that not only has the ability to be a starter, but has position flex, and so we were very fortunate with the 24th pick to get the 16th player in the Draft."

Stephen Jones: "I think the key thing is we think he can be our left tackle for a long time, at some point in time. Obviously, we have the best in the business now in Tyron Smith, but at some point his ability makes us think he can be a top, top left tackle."

Mike McCarthy: "I just want to add that Joe Philbin had the chance to spend time with him, and, obviously the classroom work is important, and we felt great about what he put on video, but the personal workout does give you the chance to get a closer look and particularly spend the one-on-one time. He had high marks in all that."

Will McClay: "You look for the traits, and then you look for the ability on tape, and he showed those. He's a first round type player capable of competing in this league, and we were excited about that and him being local; and the temperament that he plays with, and being young and getting the growth and the potential and that's all important too."

Sam Williams

Jerry Jones: "Wehad him in as one of our visits, and he had a lot of high grades and a lot of want-to among both coaches and scouts to have him as a part of our team, both from the standpoint of his skill and his attitude towards competing and what he can bring to the team. He really was, in the early process in the last few weeks as well as today – because today was decision day – he was aired out well. We are proud to have him." **

Mike McCarthy: "My first exposure was watching in Will's office. He jumps off the film. This is not a football question. We were fortunate to get him in the second round, based off of his performance on video. I think all the other questions have been answered. He's got big-time elite pass rush ability, and he's played against top completion and was extremely productive."

Jalen Tolbert

Will McClay: "It's a wide receiver that can play multiple spots; he's got size; he's extremely intelligent, and the type of player you want to grow in that room because of his intelligence; his relationship that he's already formed with the quarterback (Dak Prescott) from the conversation and those sort of things that the upside is that because he's an NFL style receiver – body style, size, ability to find space, the ability to play inside and outside, so that versatility made him very attractive."

Mike McCarthy: "I think the biggest thing is you see him run all the routes. He has the vertical routes, a lot of crossing routes. Like I said earlier, he definitely has inside and outside receiver flex, so that tells you he can run the whole route tree. His work ethic is something that I know particularly [wide receivers coach] Robert Prince was very impressed with. I think he'll be a full complement receiver for us."

Jake Ferguson

Mike McCarthy: "I think he can play both on the line and off the line. I think he's good in the insert schemes. He makes some competitive catches and plays with some tenacity. Like I said, I was just real excited based on where we had him ranked, so to have him available there was excellent."

Mike McCarthy: "The ability to be 12 personnel with two tight ends and play the same as you do in 11 personnel; but also get into more the A-gap run game or two-back downhill more action. I think we can do things on first and second down to make it a little easier on Dak."

Matt Waletzko

Will McClay: "What he is, is a football player that plays the game the right way. He's got prototypical tackle size. He can play either side. He plays the game nasty and physical. It's kind of the tempo that coach wants to set and what we want from our linemen. So he has that skillset, and he has grown from that."

DaRon Bland:

Will McClay: (He's a) big, long, athletic corner. It fits the prototype of what we are looking for when we build our defense. You want big outside corners that have vertical control – can stop the vertical routes and run with those guys and then make plays on the football. Then you add the athleticism that he has; so you are adding another young, big, athletic corner to the mix."

Damone Clark:

Stephen Jones: Clark was actually a third rounder (grade) but because of his injury there was reason we didn't jump on him right away because with his injury that he went through this year. He's going to be a guy who's going to be a PUP guy, and we'll see how he responds to see what part of the season he can come join us."

John Ridgeway:

Jerry Jones: is a unique pick for us, relative to how we pick most years with the Dallas Cowboys. We usually have lesser size and more quickness. Bohanna has that, but of course long with the size. I'm really good because with our defense against the running game, I've always held my breath on getting big-boyed in there.

Devin Harper:

Will McClay: He's got the speed that you look for in linebackers for today's game. It's a space game – run and hit. We love his special teams potential as well.

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