This year is not the year to trade down. The depth of studs is just not there in this draft. There are 6 players who are legitimate studs: Luck, RG3, Kalil, Claiborne Richardson, Blackmon. After those 6, the picture gets a little murkier. I would add Kuechly and DeCastro as 2 other players who are Blue-Chip prospects. They both seem like extremely safe picks who will not bust in the NFL. The next 12-15 players are all players who have question marks attached to them but should be solid contributors and have the potential to be extremely productive in the NFL. Adding up those players, you get to around 23 players who are actual first round prospects. If the Cowboys were to trade down, I would want them to stay in the teens because that is the only way that they guarantee to get a player with a 1st round grade.
Some trade down scenarios that have been explored include trading down with the Patriots and grabbing 27 and 31 (to do this we would give 14 and 81). In my opinion, there is not much difference between the 30th ranked player in this draft and the 45th ranked player in this draft. Making a trade like this would get us 3 2nd round prospects instead of having a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round player. The Cowboys do not need to add players in this manner.
I do not believe that we are one player away from a Super Bowl; however, I do believe that we are close to legitimately competing for a Super Bowl and adding another 1st round caliber player plus depth will get us to the top quicker than adding a bunch of 2nd tier prospects.
Another reason that trading down is risky is that our positions of greater need do not have a lot of depth. Barron is in a league of his own among the Safety prospects this year with Harrison Smith a decent second option. I personally like Trumaine Johnson as a Safety prospect but he is a project. There is solid depth at Guard but DeCastro is light years ahead of the other players. DL has decent depth as well but players like Cox and Coples are much better than the players that would be available at the end of the first round.
As I noted above, there are only a few studs in this draft class.
The first 7 of the fist 8 picks should be: Luck, RG3, Kalil, Richardson, Claiborne, Blackmon, Tannenhill
This leaves DeCastro, Barron, and Cox as possibilities.
Why not move up to 10 to make sure that we get one of those 3 players who we all (and hopefully Jerry) covet?
Moving up to #10 costs 200 points (81 would get us close) - I would give up our 3rd round pick to guarantee one of those players and not be stuck with Brockers, Poe, or Upshaw
Moving up to #11 costs 150 points (81 would get us back an additional 6th round pick) - Once again no problem with this
Moving up to #12 costs 100 points (4th and 5th round would net this)
Choosing one of these options would be dependent on how many of the 3 players are left. Players like Reilly Reiff, Luke Kuechly, Melvin Ingram,Stephon Gilmore, and Michael Floyd all seem likely to be drafted before us so moving up might not be necessary but should be a consideration.