Dallas Cowboys News & Trade Rumors: Is Market For No. 16 Pick Heating up?

Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Latest Cowboys headlines: NFL teams are starting work on trade scenarios for the draft; Gil Brandt advises the Cowboys to stick to their board; the Cowboys need to draft better in later rounds.

On Thursday, we learned that Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome told reporters at his pre-draft press conference that teams have called the Ravens about moving up into the No. 17 overall pick. Baltimore sits one pick behind Dallas after losing a coin-flip with the Cowboys.

Yesterday we learned that Bears GM Phil Emery Emery had revealed on Thursday that the Bears have also received calls from teams inquiring about trading up into the 14th slot, and that as part of the process, his staff is currently "working very hard at figuring out the scenarios on what works on how far down we would go."

It stands to reason that the Cowboys are fielding some if not all of those calls as well, they just haven't talked about it (yet).

Compared to the Bears, the Cowboys could be a much more interesting trade partners for teams looking to trade up, as a report from CSN Chicago claims the Bears are unlikely to entertain dropping more than three picks in any deal, and it may be no more than two when the calls start coming next Thursday during the draft’s first round.

Then again, dropping the hint that they only want to trade down two spots could be a direct message to Jerry Jones that if the Cowboys want Aaron Donald, they'd better trade up with Chicago.

Oh, the trickeration!

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Gil Brandt: Cowboys Can’t Afford To Reach For Need - DallasCowboys.com
Brandt advises the Cowboys not to get cute and draft for need instead of taking the best player available. Of course, when you construct your board with a specific scheme need already in mind, BPA and need will be pretty much the same anyway - which is why teams regulary declare the players they drafted at a position of need the "Best Player Available."

"I think where you get in trouble is, if you’re drafting 16, which they are I believe, and your 24th ranked player is a defensive lineman, and you pass over eight players to get to that defensive lineman, I think you make a mistake," Brandt said. "I just think you have to take the best player available and build your team from that."

Stephen Jones: Cowboys have not discussed moving Sean Lee outside | Jon Machota, DMN
Stephen Jones sees a lot of good things in Sean Lee's future - if he stays healthy - and playing outside linebacker is not one of them.

"He’s so good in the middle there and leading the way, leading the defense. It’s a natural spot for him to work from. Hopefully, we can keep him there and have the complementary guys around him. If he stays healthy, I know it’ll be a Pro Bowl, if not an All-Pro type year."

Sean Lee: ‘On many fronts defensively, we have a ton to prove’ | Rainer Sabin, DMN
Sean Lee believes everybody need to improve if the Cowboys want to have a better defense, individually and collectively.

"On many fronts defensively, we have a ton to prove," Lee said. "I think Coach Marinelli is a guy who can teach us and show us to the way to being a better defense. He is a guy who is a great motivator who knows defense inside and out – not only scheme but fundamentals at every position. So if there’s a guy that is going to get us to become the defense we want to be, I think it’s Coach Marinelli. But it’s on us individually to get better day in and day out and understand how hard we need to work if we want to be the type of defense that’s going to help our team win football games."

Dallas Cowboys' late drafting needs to be better - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Todd Archer quotes Ben Volin of The Boston Globe on why the Cowboys need to hit on more picks in the late rounds, and points out an odd inconsistency in the Cowboys talent acquisition: They're not good in rounds 5-7, but are pretty good with undrafted free agents.

The Dallas Cowboys are one of six teams not to have a current starter they selected in Rounds 5-7, according to the chart, which means Volin did not count Orlando Scandrick (fifth round, 2008) as a starter even though he started most of the 2013 season. If Morris Claiborne performed up to capabilities and was not hurt, he would have been the starter. If you count Scandrick, then the Cowboys would be one of 12 teams to have one starter from Rounds 5-7. [...]

Also in Volin’s chart is a look at undrafted starters. The Cowboys had a league-high five in 2013 with Tony Romo, Miles Austin, Barry Church, Ronald Leary and Jeff Heath. The Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins had four apiece to tie for second.

Good chance J.J. Wilcox is Dallas Cowboys’ other starting safety | Jon Machota, DMN
Stephen Jones said Friday that J.J. Wilcox could be the starting safety next to Barry Church in 2014. Wilcox had just won the starting job in camp last year when news of his mother's death derailed him.

"My thoughts are that he’s really got a chance, if he goes back to playing like he had been in training camp and how he was playing toward the end of the year, to really be the guy opposite [Barry Church]," Jones said. "Now that’s not to discount what Heath did, I think he did a really nice job there and really filled in well for us. I think he’d make a great third safety for us. Obviously, he does a great job for Rich Bisaccia there as well."

"Then, we got Jakar Hamilton as well as, I know everybody kind of smirks, but one day if Matt Johnson stays healthy, then we’ll finally get to look at him. Hopefully, Matt’s going to prove a lot of people wrong and stay healthy and be the guy we thought we drafted there two years ago."

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What is potential cost to Cowboys to pursue Johnny Manziel? | David Moore, DMN
Trading Romo comes with a $32.5 million cap hit, Moore calculates. Some people would argue that the number is actually $40.7 million, but what's a few million between friends?

Kurt Warner explains why the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t draft Johnny Manziel | Jon Machota, DMN
Warner argues that the Cowboys have more pressing needs than QB.

When you have a quarterback that you just signed to a $100 million deal, do you go out and make that move for another one when you have those pieces? I say no.

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