For the second time in three weeks, SB Nation has the Cowboys moving down in the mock draft they publish every Monday. Two weeks ago, Matthew Fairburn had the Cowboys trading with the Patriots, who offered up their 29th pick and unspecified other picks to get the Cowboys' 17th pick.
Today, Fairburn has the Cowboys trading their 17th pick with the San Diego Chargers for their 25th and 89th pick. And just like two weeks ago, we'll use both the Jimmy Johnson trade Value Chart and the Harvard Trade Value chart to figure out if this is an equitable deal for both sides.
The Jimmy Johnson Chart values the 17th pick with 950 points, while the Chargers' picks are worth 865 points (720 + 145). Just like last year, when the Cowboys traded their 18th pick for San Francisco's 31st and 74th (900 = 600 + 220) and gave up almost 100 points according to the Johnson Chart, analysts would likely scream bloody murder at the value the Cowboys would "lose" in this trade. Of course, those same analysts are oblivious to the fact that it's not 1992 anymore and are proud to have Boys II Men's "End of the Road" as their ring tone. Fast forward two decades:
The Harvard Chart is much more statistically rigorous in its approach to valuing draft picks, and sees a different "winner" in this trade: Here, the 17th pick is worth 254 points, while the two Chargers picks are worth 324.4 points (221.3 + 104.4), so the Cowboys would come out ahead in the deal.
We don't know what kind of chart NFL teams use to determine the value of picks, but if both teams win by one chart and lose by the other, it's probably a fairly equitable deal. In any case, with the 25th pick, the Cowboys select defensive tackle RaShede Hageman out of Minnesota.
The Cowboys would be wise to try to find a trade partner and move back. They need help along the defensive line, and the later portion of the first round is a sweet spot for value at that position. Ra'Shede Hageman would be an ideal target for Dallas and he's a bit less risky at this spot.
In this mock, the choice to trade down is made a lot tougher by the players who were still on the board for the Cowboys' original 17th pick. Here's a selection:
19 (Dolphins): Zack Martin, Guard, Notre Dame
20 (Cardinals): Anthony Barr, Linebacker, UCLA
21 (Packers): C.J. Mosley, Linebacker, Alabama
24 (Bengals): Calvin Pryor, Safety, Louisville
Even excluding everybody's darling Aaron Donald (who would go to Seattle at number 32), and regardless of whether the deal was equitable or not, would you have chosen to trade down in a scenario where Martin, Barr, Mosley and Pryor were still on the board?