DALLAS — Call it Christmas in April for football fans as the 2022 NFL Draft has arrived. Every late April/early May, there is renewed hope for many teams, including the Dallas Cowboys. Currently holding the 24th pick in the first round, the Cowboys will have to be patient before making their first selection.
Here’s a guide for how you can watch and enjoy the festivities as the event unfolds from Las Vegas.
Where to watch and when:
Round 1: Thursday, April 28th at 7:00 pm CDT on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network
Rounds 2 & 3: Friday, April 29th at 7:00 pm CDT on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network
Rounds 4-7: Saturday, April 30th at 11:00 am CDT on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network
Round 1, Pick No. 24
Round 2, Pick No. 56
Round 3, Pick No. 88
Round 4, Pick No. 129
Round 5, Pick No. 155
Round 5, Pick No. 167
Round 5, Pick No. 176
Round 5, Pick No. 178
Round 6, Pick No. 193
What to watch for with the Cowboys:
Pretty much every option is open right now. As it stands, the Cowboys have just one pick tonight as they sit at the back end of the first round. Things can change quickly, however. The Cowboys under Jerry Jones have been very active with trading draft picks, so don’t wait to turn on the draft and think you have time to see the team’s pick.
The rumor mill started by Jones himself a few weeks ago about possibly trading up has been pervasive. There are rumblings that the Cowboys move into the top 15 in tonight’s first round.
If that speculation is true, being willing to trade away significant draft capital to make a move might signal that the Cowboys are in serious rebuild mode for their once bulletproof offensive line. Trading away their first and possibly second round draft picks to come away with one player, when Dallas needs young starters from this draft, feels like a bold strategy.
Of course, this is all speculation at this point. The closer we get to the draft starting, the more rumors tend to surface. The Cowboys could be just as likely to trade back and accrue more capital as they’ve mentioned that the overall depth appears to be the draft’s strong suit. It will ultimately come down to how the draft is playing out leading up to Dallas’ pick.
The Cowboys could also stay put and draft a player that would anger the masses. That has happened before, most recently with the selection of defensive end Taco Charlton in the 2017 draft. The anxiety-inducing player among Cowboys followers this year could be Tulsa offensive tackle Tyler Smith.
The important thing to remember is that no one knows what’s going to happen until it happens. That’s the fun part of the draft! Two years ago, no one thought drafting wide receiver CeeDee Lamb was a possibility, but he fell into the Cowboys laps.
Last April, Dallas desperately wanted a cornerback, but when both of their preferred options were taken before they were on the clock, the team traded back and wound up scoring the Defensive Player of the Year in LB Micah Parsons. Ironically enough, it was also a pick that many Cowboys fans disliked at the time.
It's also worth noting that the success of a draft isn’t confined to just the first round. The Cowboys hold nine picks in total and how they maximize their draft capital will determine how good the draft class ends up being. That value won’t be known for a few years.
The NFL Draft is always one of the league’s signature events and fans love the buildup. No matter what happens tonight, and over the course of the next three days, the Cowboys hope to walk away happy. It remains to be seen if fans will feel the same way.
Do you think the Cowboys will stay put at No. 24 in the first round? Share your predictions with Ben on Twitter @BenGrimaldi.