Halfway through the 2022 NFL regular season, and I believe it’s safe to say this is the deepest the Dallas Cowboys roster has been in years. Now that doesn’t mean the depth chart doesn’t have its flaws. The recent hype surrounding a possible Odell Beckham Jr. signing clearly indicates a need at wide receiver.
Still, as we go down the list of positions on the Cowboys’ roster, it’s hard not to be impressed by the depth of this current version of America’s Team. And it’s easy to believe that Dallas can still be competitive even if a couple of their big names go down due to injury. And they already have.
Obviously, the biggest position where depth has directly impacted the standings is under center. The Cowboys lost quarterback Dak Prescott for five games due to a thumb injury he sustained in Week One. Yet, due in large part to the surprising play of backup passer Cooper Rush, Dallas was able to somehow win four of the five games without Prescott in the lineup.
At running back. Ezekiel Elliott was forced to miss the team’s Week Eight matchup against the Chicago Bears due to a knee injury. In his place, running back Tony Pollard had a career day, rushing for 131 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-29 victory.
We already mentioned wide receiver as a problem area. The combo of CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup is solid. Yet, there’s a lack of a true number-one receiver after the offseason trade of Amari Cooper. The depth is certainly a question mark beyond Lamb and Gallup.
At tight end, the Cowboys have four players who make up one of the top positional groups in the league. Dalton Schultz and Sean McKeon combined with impressive rookies Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot have all been playing well and represent an exciting future at the position in Dallas.
At offensive line, there’s an argument to be made that injuries have significantly hurt the depth of this unit. And they’re one critical injury away from real trouble. Yet, the impending return of Tyron Smith means that a better depth situation is coming as long as the O-line can remain relatively healthy as is. Rookie Tyler Smith rather seamlessly replacing an injured Tyron Smith at left tackle has to be a highlight of this team’s excellent depth and talented rookie class.
On defense, the Cowboys depth chart is so overflowing with talent they’ve been forced to release players like their 2022 fifth-round pick in defensive tackle John Ridgeway and former second-rounder Trysten Hill. Dallas has a plethora of pass rushers including Tarell Basham, who was just activated off Injured Reserve. It’s to a point where the Cowboys are having to make difficult choices about who to make inactive every week.
The position of linebacker started out a bit thin due to injury and the fact defensive coordinator Dan Quinn uses Micah Parsons as a pass rusher so often. But the signing of veteran Anthony Barr plus the recent debut of rookie fifth-rounder Damone Clark has helped to shore up the depth.
Finally, the secondary is very deep in Dallas. At cornerback, the unexpected stellar play of fifth-round rookie Daron Bland has helped to cushion the blow of a season-ending foot injury suffered by Jourdan Lewis. Trevon Diggs and Anthony Brown are a solid starting duo and the corner depth includes two former high draft picks in Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright.
At safety, the Cowboys have a very talented and deep group. Perhaps, the deepest on the entire team. Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, and Donovan Wilson should all be considered starters and each has played above expectations. And the youth of Israel Mukuamu and rookie Markquese Bell played well in the preseason and represent a bright future for the position moving forward.
The Dallas Cowboys currently have a record of 6-2. And the biggest reason for their success this year has been their overall roster depth. It’s a credit to this front office and coaching staff for putting together a roster, mostly built via the draft, that has put them in the enviable position they find themselves today.
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