Dallas Cowboys 2022 Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup

dallas cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys went into 2021 with one of the best offenses, at least on paper. But, the offensive line continued to fall back to the league average, and injuries continued to mount on stud running back Ezekiel Elliott, and they lost wide receiver Michael Gallup to an ACL tear late in the season and lost Amari Cooper to the Browns via trade. So, the offense has taken some licks. The Cowboys responded by taking two fantasy football-relevant players in the 2022 NFL Draft. What can we expect from these guys in their rookie years, for fantasy football purposes?

Rd. Pick Player Pos. College
1 24 Tyler Smith OL Tulsa
2 56 Sam Williams DE Mississippi
3 88 Jalen Tolbert WR South Alabama
4 129 Jake Ferguson TE Wisconsin
5 155 Matt Waletzko OL North Dakota
5 167 DaRon Bland DB Fresno St.
5 176 Damone Clark LB LSU
5 178 John Ridgeway DT Arkansas
6 193 Devin Harper LB Oklahoma St.
Round 3, Pick 88 Overall: Jalen Tolbert, Wide Receiver, South Alabama (6’1” 194 lbs)
Depth Chart:
WR1:     CeeDee Lamb
WR2:     Michael Gallup
WR3:     James Washington
WR4:     Jalen Tolbert
WR5:     Noah Brown

I see a lot of people trying to talk up Jalen Tolbert on Twitter as a potential sleeper and to be honest… I don’t really see it. He has average speed, okay hands, decent body control and that’s pretty much it. He will make the first guy miss on a tackle, but the second tackler always takes him down. He had a lot of YAC per reception (7 yards) so that’s something that causes me to stand up and take notice but just watching him I’m extremely underwhelmed. He’s going to be a good third receiver in real life, but I am going to need to see a lot more from him before I put him anywhere near my top 60 receivers in fantasy football. Think Tyler Boyd now that Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase showed how much better they are than him.


Usually, when we talk about rookie players who break out, we talk about them snatching the opportunity from the competition in their position room. But, in this case, Tolbert’s opportunity is completely up to Michael Gallup’s recovery. Should Gallup falter in his recovery from his late, that would put Tolbert in a position to compete for WR2 duties in Dallas, with just James Washington. That’s an incredible position to be in, in a high WR-targeting offense (the Cowboys ranked fifth in wide receiver targets in 2021).

However, it’s more likely that a Dallas Cowboys offense without Michael Gallup does not funnel targets downward. The CeeDee Lamb, their most-targeted wide receiver, averaged 7.9 targets per game. That ranked fourteenth among teams’ most targeted wide receivers. Lamb has more in him than that, which would take away from Tolbert, limiting his upside.


I really don’t want to try to play this game with Jalen Tolbert this year. He is proficient enough that there will be a 125-target season wherein he’s a weekly must-start in PPR leagues, but I doubt 2022 will be that year.



Round 4, Pick 129 Overall: Jake Ferguson, Tight End, Wisconsin (6’5” 250 lbs)
Depth Chart:
TE1:        Dalton Schultz
TE2:        Jake Ferguson
TE3:        Jeremy Sprinkle

Jake Ferguson is fine, I guess. Nothing about him really pops off of tape but he looks pretty proficient (but unspectacular) in a lot of areas. He’s an okay runner, an okay blocker, an okay pass catcher, and an okay route runner. All-in-all, that’s the only word I can really use to describe Ferguson: okay. He reminds me a lot of Robert Tonyan, who gained fantasy football prowess by simply being on the field with Aaron Rodgers. There’s nothing particularly exciting about his game but I’m sure he’s going to get some run on the Cowboys as a depth tight end.


The Cowboys ran with two tight ends last year and made no effort to bring back Blake Jarwin to reprise his role. Instead, Jerry Jones & Co. drafted Ferguson to serve as Dallas’ TE2. And I have to tell you, that doesn’t really amount to too much in this offense. Jarwin played between 44% and 57% of snaps until suffering an injury that cost him half the season. He also ran just 11 routes per game, burying him in those particular ranks. Compare that to Schultz’s 27.2 routes per game (fifth among tight ends) and you can see exactly how limited Dallas’ TE2’s upside is on a week-to-week basis.


Ferguson is a high-floor tight end who will do a lot of things well but won’t do anything to stand out in any particular way. Not standing out in any particular way is a great path to a bunch of blocking snaps, a handful of targets, and zero fantasy football relevancy in your rookie year.

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About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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