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2012 NFL Draft: Can Cowboys Resist The Allure Of Draft Day Trades?

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Heading into the 2012 draft, Jerry Jones and the Cowboys have engineered 60 trades involving draft picks in 23 drafts. Among these trades was the franchise-defining Hershel Walker trade in 1989, but also some less successful trades involving their picks like the acquisition of wide receiver Roy Williams. The Cowboys have been involved in draft day trades in 21 of their 23 drafts under Jerry Jones. The only years the Cowboys kept still on draft weekend was in 2000 and 2011. However, over the last four drafts the Cowboys have seen their number of trades involving draft picks strongly decrease (see detailed list at the bottom of this post).

But what's perhaps most remarkable is that 2012 could be the first time since 1990-1992 that the Cowboys will have three consecutive drafts in which they'll make at least one first round pick and at least one second round pick: Dez Bryant and Sean Lee in 2010, Tyron Smith and Bruce Carter in 2011 and perhaps two more in 2012.

Rick Gosselin from the Dallas Morning News recently opined that:

"When Jerry sticks to the draft board, he finds players. When he starts skipping around like he did when he took Quincy Carter and [Felix] Jones, that's when he gets into trouble."

While sticking to your board is not necessarily a guarantee for finding great players (see the 2000 draft for evidence), Gosselin does make a valid point in that too much movement could be counterproductive, and urges the Cowboys to trust Tom Ciskowski:

He puts up the draft board. In the last two years he has delivered potential blue chippers Dez Bryant, Sean Lee, Tyron Smith and [Bruce Carter]. If he can hit two more blue chippers this year plus a few more starting caliber players (OL, safety) in the later rounds, the rebuilding process will be a year deeper toward making the Cowboys a contender.

So what do you think: Can Mr. Jerry Cantkeepstillski actually sit tight during the draft? And more importantly, should he?

Cowboys recent trade history involving draft picks

2008:

- Moved up three spots to 25th to get Mike Jenkins (25 = 28, 163, 235).
- Traded out of the third round for extra picks from Detroit (92 = 111, next 4th).
- Traded Akin Ayodele and Anthony Fasano to Miami for 2008 fourth round pick (100).
- Traded down with Oakland for more picks (100 = 104, 213).
- Traded down with Browns for extra picks (104 = 122, 155).
- Traded for Pacman Jones from Tennessee (126, conditional '09 sixth round pick = Pacman , '09 fifth round)

2009:

- Traded for 1st, 3rd and 6th for Roy Williams (20, 82, 192 = RW, 210)
- Traded down with Buffalo for more picks (51 = 75, 110).
- Traded down with Tampa Bay for more picks (117 = 120, 229)
- Moved up 13 spots to 143 in trade with Atlanta (143 = 156, 210)

2010:

- Moved up three spots in trade with Patriots to grab Dez Bryant (24, 119 = 27, 90)
- Moved up four spots in trade with Eagles to get Sean Lee (55 = 59, 125)
- Traded down with Miami for extra picks (119 = 126, 179)
- Traded fifth round pick (158 ) to Denver for Montrae Holland

2011:

- Traded Patrick Crayton to Sand Diego for 2011 seventh round pick (220)