Throw the mock drafts out the window. Sure, they are interesting to read and fill the time between the Super Bowl and the draft but in the end they really do not matter much when it comes to Dallas. The authors of the mocks know this and deep down you and I know this as well. In the end, Jerry Jones and the Cowboys will make yet another draft day trade next weekend.
It has become Jerry Jones' calling card. He strongly believes in getting as much value as he can out of the picks he has in the draft while at the same time still being able to grab the player he wants anyway. Last year was a perfect example of that. When Brady Quinn unexpectedly fell into the Cowboys lap at #22, Jerry made a last minute trade with Cleveland and acquired their 2nd rounder and 1st this year. The beauty of the trade was that Dallas was able to trade back up into the first round and get the player they wanted all along, Anthony Spencer.
2007 was not the only time Jerry made a move like this:
In 2004 the Cowboys traded the #22 pick to Buffalo for their 2nd and first the next year. The Cowboys selected Marcus Spears the next year with Buffalo's pick.
In 2002 the Cowboys swapped picks with Kansas City (#6 and #8) while also getting the Chiefs' second rounder. The Cowboys picked up Roy Williams at #8 and later traded that extra second rounder to move up higher.
In 2001 Jerry was faced with the conundrum of not having a first rounder after trading it away to acquire Joey Galloway. Jerry amassed all of his negotiating skills and made five draft day trades, the biggest being a bold (and ultimately fruitless) move to trade up and grab Quincy Carter.
Between 1990 and 1992, the Cowboys had multiple first round picks each year thanks to the monster trade with Minnesota. During each draft the Cowboys would make multiple moves to gain as much value as they could with the numerous picks they held, which provided the building blocks for a Cowboys dynasty. The biggest was the trade in 1991 that gave the Cowboys the number one overall pick, used to select Russel Maryland.
This year the Cowboys enter the draft armed with two first round picks at #22 and #28. Ever since the season ended it seems that rumors have run wild about the Cowboys packaging the picks and making a big trade to move up into the top 5. We all know that just won't happen, especially with the ridiculous contracts rookies are receiving these days. While the Cowboys cap space will certainly be a contributing factor in what moves Jerry may or may not make, the biggest reason the Cowboys might make a move is the level of talent in this year's draft.
One position that is truly deep this year is running back. It is a popular opinion to have the Cowboys drafting a back in the first round this year, but the fact remains the Cowboys already have a Pro Bowl running back and have not selected one in the first round since Emmitt Smith in 1990. If the Cowboys believe they can get a good complimentary back to Barber in the second round or lower they will most definitely go that route.
What the Cowboys will most likely target in the first round is a cornerback. The Cowboys will have several options available to them at #22 and no one can tell exactly who will fall to them. The Cowboys only have two cornerbacks on the roster with any real experience and they have a chance this year to draft a corner that will be solid for the team for years to come. Aqib Talib, Brandon Flowers, Mike Jenkins and Antoine Cason all have the chance to be drafted by Dallas.
Wide receiver is also regarded as Cowboys need, but Jerry has said time and again this offseason he is hesitant to draft a receiver in the first round. There is too much of a learning curve for rookie receivers and the Cowboys really believe in the young receivers already on the roster. But Jerry is itching to make a move for a veteran receiver and the chance might come during the draft.
Anquan Boldin, Chad Johnson and Detroit's Roy Williams have all been the subject of trade rumors. Chad Johnson's plight is well documented but it will be tough for Cincinnati to trade him before June 1 as they will take a giant cap hit if he is traded. Anquan Boldin is a possibility but it is uncertain what exactly Arizona will want for the explosive receiver. Boldin is also looking for a large contract extension. The most likely candidate seems to be Roy Williams. His contract is not too prohibitive for the Cowboys, he is young and extremely talented and he grew up a Cowboys fan. Problem is, Detroit has not yet come out and openly put him up for trade.
There's no way to truly predict what will happen in the draft. There are just too many variables. But one thing that remains a certainty is that Jerry will be looking to make some kind of move in the first round. He could move up if someone starts to fall. He could move down if the value just isn't there for the Cowboys. The beauty of being a Cowboys fan during the draft is that you are kept on your toes all the way to the last second of each pick.