Whoare the best Dallas Cowboys players heading into the 2022 regular season after what can only be described as an underwhelming offseason? The team lost Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson Jr., both receivers who will be greatly missed in Mike McCarthy’s passing attack.
Even more devastating news, the Cowboys will be without Michael Gallup and James Washington as well. The duo was going to essentially take on bigger roles with Cooper and Wilson’s departure. The weight of the passing offense will now fall on CeeDee Lamb and rookie Jalen Tolbert.
On defense, the Cowboys have some of the most-promising talent in the league. Some of the most-notable playmakers in the league right now include Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, and Jayron Kearse, to name a few. With the Cowboys’ Week 1 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers now just a couple of weeks away, let’s take a look at the 10 best Dallas Cowboys players of 2022.
10 best Dallas Cowboys players of 2022
1- Zack Martin, guard
It all starts in the trenches. And for the Cowboys, that rings true with Zack Martin. Originally a first-round pick back in 2014, he has consistently been one of, if not, the best guards in football. Without a doubt a future Hall of Famer, Martin’s exploits are now legendary. Just to name a few, he’s a seven-time Pro Bowler and has been a First-Team All-Pro a grand total of five times.
The former Notre Dame product has gained the reputation of being one of the most underrated players in the league. According to Pro Football Focus, Martin has posted an overall grade of 80 or higher every year he’s been in the league. His lowest was 81.5 back in 2018. However, since 2019, Martin has been on another level. Despite being 31 years old, he’s still the best Cowboys player by far.
2- Micah Parsons, linebacker
The 12th pick in last year’s draft, Micah Parsons, was a godsend for Jerry Jones and the Cowboys. The way he fell into their laps will be remembered as one of the greatest steals in draft history. From the outset, Parsons was an immediate impact player on defense. By the season’s conclusion, he was the Defensive Rookie of the Year. Cowboys fans can look for Parsons to try and surpass his sack total from last year (13) while continuing to develop into a more complete player. The sky’s the limit for the former Nittany Lion.
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3- Trevon Diggs, cornerback
Arguably one of the more controversial players for the Cowboys, Trevon Diggs comes into the 2022 season as one of the premier NFL cornerbacks. You could certainly have quarterback Dak Prescott as number three in this slot, but Diggs’ impact cannot be overlooked.
Simply put, Diggs is a playmaker and gets it done, week in and week out. His franchise record-setting 11 interceptions from a season ago is proof of that. In addition, by season’s end, Diggs had also recorded 21 passes defended, second in the league. If Diggs can work to better his coverage skills, the Cowboys might have a true lockdown, playmaking defender.
4- Dak Prescott, quarterback
When you think of polarizing NFL players, Dak Prescott is often in the discussion. Fans continue to debate about Prescott on a daily basis. Many defend him with his impressive stats, while others point to his lack of on-field success. Regardless, Prescott is a top three or, in this case, top four player based on last season’s accomplishments.
In 2021, he set the new team record for touchdowns with 37 while recording a 68.8 completion percentage. Unfortunately for Prescott, he could see major setbacks this year with the loss of so many offensive weapons. Worst case scenario, Prescott heads into 2023 as a fringe top-10 player. It’ll depend on how he can navigate the loss of so many talented receivers.
5- Tyron Smith, offensive tackle
While Martin holds down the interior of the Cowboys’ offensive line, Tyron Smith does his thing on the outside. The second-most important lineman for McCarthy, Smith allowed just two sacks all of last year. Other than Trent Williams, PFF actually grades Smith as the best tackle if you’re going by overall grade.
Smith could’ve easily been number two or three on this list, but his injury history holds him back. Make no mistake, however, when he’s healthy, he’s the best. Despite getting sidelined until at least December, Smith’s efforts from 2021 warrant his top-five status.
6- Ezekiel Elliott, running back
The former All-Pro running back has seen better days. Ezekiel Elliott is still one of the most-talented running backs in the NFL and is relatively young. Regrettably, Elliot’s offensive line has some question marks heading into this season. Additionally, there’s growing concern surrounding his high usage throughout his career. He’s already logged 4,727 snaps at just 27 years old. Depending on what happens this season, Elliot could fall find himself on a new team in 2023.
7- DeMarcus Lawrence, EDGE
Demarcus Lawrence missed significant time last year as he played in just seven games. However, when he did make it on to the gridiron, his impact hadn’t diminished. In fact, Lawrence still ended up with a 91.0 overall grade over at PFF. His sack numbers have steadily declined since 2019. In fact, he has only amassed 9.5 in the last two years. That leads many to question whether he’s still an elite player or not. Be that as it may, as far as this team goes, Lawrence is still one of the best Dallas Cowboys players.
8- CeeDee Lamb, wide receiver
By all accounts, CeeDee Lamb should be seen as one of the best receivers in the NFL. He topped both his total yardage and touchdowns from his rookie season with 1,102 and five scores. However, critics point to his inconsistencies as the main reason for him not being able to crack the elite receiver list. He had eight drops last season alone.
- CeeDee Lamb stats (2020-21): 153 receptions, 2,037 yards, 11 TD, 66% catch rate
If you look closer at his numbers, Lamb essentially disappeared after Week 12. He never recorded more than seven catches in a game and closed out the last two regular season games with just five total. In addition, he never crossed the century mark in a game for total yards after the Week 7 bout with the Minnesota Vikings. The talent is there, but time will tell if he can live up to his potential to ascend our rankings of the best Dallas Cowboys players of 2022.
9- Jayron Kearse, safety
After floundering with the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions, Jayron Kearse had a comeback for the ages. Starting 15 regular-season games and emerging as one of the most dangerous safeties in the NFL, Kearse earned himself a top 10 nod. He accumulated 10 passes defended, two interceptions and nine tackles for a loss. He also proved to be effective in pass rushing, getting brought in on 24 blitzes last season and totaling eight pressures, according to Pro Football Reference. If Kearse can build off his 2021 success, he might end up climbing the list of best Dallas Cowboys players next year.
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10- Tony Pollard, running back
Many would argue that Tony Pollard should be the Cowboys’ starting running back, if not for Elliot’s albatross of a contract. However, when he gets his touches, Pollard does damage. Just look at this 5.5 yards per carry average last year. He also found the end zone twice. Not to be outdone, Pollard is also a dual threat out of the backfield as he’s recorded 82 receptions in just three seasons. If only the Cowboys could find more ways to get him the ball more often. Alas, there are only so many touches to go around.