Madden NFL 23 will release on August 19th, and EA Sports has been releasing the ratings for different position groups each day. So far, the ratings for running backs, edge rushers and wide receivers have been made public.
Despite only three position groups having been released, the Cowboys already have two players ranking in the top 10 amongst their peers. Here are the top rated Cowboys, and each player who was above a 70 overall from what’s been released thus far:
DeMarcus Lawrence – 90 overall
Last season was a struggle for Lawrence. He underwent foot surgery after week one, which knocked him out for 10 games. But Madden put a vote of confidence in the two-time Pro Bowler by rating him as the eighth-best edge rusher in the game.
Defensive linemen are often judged by their ability to bring down the QB, but Lawrence has never put up gaudy sack numbers. Rather, his strength stems from his abilities as a run stopper. Per Pro Football Focus, Lawrence has ranked as a top 10 run defender since 2018 and took the top spot in 2021.
Ezekiel Elliott – 88 overall
Despite Cowboys fans’ displeasure with Elliott’s play since receiving his six-year, $90 million deal in 2019, he’s still held his own among the best ball carriers in the NFL. His 88 overall makes him the 10th best running back in Madden.
Despite partially tearing his PCL in week four last season, Elliott still rushed for 1,002 yards on the year, the seventh-highest mark in the league. He also played in every game in 2021, something he’s only done one other time in his six year career.
But reports from OTAs and minicamp earlier this offseason were very positive regarding Elliott’s health going into the 2022 season. There’s even been some ‘best shape of his career’ talk, which is unheard of in the offseason. Not.
Micah Parsons – 88 overall
There were high hopes for Parsons after he went 12th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. But nobody could have foreseen 13 sacks, 84 total tackles and a Defensive Rookie of the Year season from the former Penn State Nittany Lion.
While 88 is an impressive rating for a second-year player, it’s hard to believe there are 21 players that can get after the QB more effectively than Parsons. He had the sixth-most sacks in 2021.
Madden clearly doesn’t value young players who haven’t proven their worth for multiple seasons, as Cincinnati Bengals rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase was given an 87 rating. The former LSU Tiger had the fourth-most receiving yards and third-most receiving touchdowns in 2021. Look for both players to see dramatic spikes in their ratings by the season’s end.
CeeDee Lamb – 85 overall
Now that Lamb has taken over WR1 duties from Amari Cooper, whose 90 overall rating was the 10th best among wide receivers, he’ll get plenty of opportunities to improve his rating. Lamb is currently tied as the 24th-best receiver in Madden.
Lamb had 1,102 receiving yards and six touchdown receptions in 2021, ranking 16th and 25th in the NFL, respectively. With more targets coming from Dak Prescott this season, look for Lambs stats and Madden rating to jump.
Trevon Diggs – 84 overall
Diggs is coming off one of the most impressive seasons we’ve seen from a cornerback in some time. His 11 interceptions were the most in the NFL since Everson Walls snatched 11 picks in 1981.
But he also allowed league-high 1,016 yards in coverage. Which is likely why EA Sport has him tied as the 18th best cornerback in the game.
As his NFL career continues, his overall skills as a cornerback will continue improving because he’s still somewhat new at the position. Diggs played cornerback for the first time in 2017 during his sophomore season at Alabama. Before that, he was a wide receiver, so it’s not surprising that he’s one of the more surehanded receivers in the NFL.
All things considered, an 84 overall feels low for a player coming off a Pro Bowl and All-Pro-caliber season.
Michael Gallup – 83 overall
Thanks to Cooper’s departure, Gallup was promoted to WR2 on the Cowboys’ wide receiver depth chart. But it’s hard to predict how his rating might fluctuate as the season goes on.
Gallup played in only nine games last season. A calf injury landed Gallup on the IR early in the season, then a torn ACL in week 17 ended his year for good. The knee injury has also put his availability for the early weeks of 2022 into question.
Time will tell how the ACL tear impacts Gallup’s abilities going into year five. His best season came in 2019, he tallied 1,107 receiving yards and six touchdown receptions.
Here are how Madden rates the rest of the Cowboys (will update the full list once complete).
- Dalton Schultz – 82 overall
- Tony Pollard – 81 overall
- Jayron Kearse – 80 overall
- Leighton Vander Esch – 80 overall
- Jourdan Lewis – 77 overall
- Anthony Brown – 76 overall
- Malik Hooker – 76 overall
- Donovan Wilson – 75 overall
- Dante Fowler – 74 overall
- James Washington – 74 overall
- Osa Odighizuwa – 73 overall
- Kelvin Joseph – 72 overall
- Neville Gallimore – 72 overall
- Tarell Basham – 72 overall
- Trysten Hill – 72 overall
- Jalen Tolbert – 71 overall
- Dorance Armstrong – 70 overall
- Noah Brown – 70 overall