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2016 NFL Draft: Heading Into 2016 Draft, Cowboys Have Most Draft Capital Since 1992

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The Cowboys have the 4th-most draft capital of all teams to spend in this draft, the most they've had since 1992.

Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

The notion of draft capital is a very simple one. You add up the value of each team's picks on the Trade Value Chart to arrive at a total value for each team's draft picks.

Using that approach, I’ve calculated each team’s expected draft capital heading into the 2016 NFL draft, which you'll find in the summary table at the bottom of this piece.

For now though, let's start with the Cowboys. Based on the 2016 Compensatory Pick Projection from OverTheCap.com, the Cowboys hold the following picks with the corresponding draft value:

Rd Pick Origin Value
1 4 Original pick 1,800
2 34 Original pick 560
3 67
Original pick 255
4 102
Original pick 92
4 137
Compensatory pick 37.5
6 192 From Raiders
15.6
6 212 Compensatory pick 7.6
6 216 Compensatory pick 6
6 217 Compensatory pick 5.6
Total 2,779

The last time the Cowboys picked at No. 4 overall or higher was in 1991, when they had the top pick in the draft. But since 1992, this is the highest the Cowboys have drafted. It follows that the draft capital for all the nine picks above must be pretty high too. In fact, the Cowboys enter the 2016 NFL Draft with the most draft capital they've had since 1992.

In 1992, still flush from the Hershel Walker trade, the Cowboys had two picks each in the first, second, and third rounds for a combined draft capital of 3,477 points.

This year's 2,779 points narrowly beat out the 2005 draft (2,717) in which the Cowboys had two picks in the first round and had what could have been a franchise-defining draft when they picked DeMarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, Marion Barber, Chris Canty, and Jay Ratliff.

Here's an overview of the draft capital in each draft since 1992, ranked by the draft capital each year.

Year Draft Capital - Year Draft Capital - Year Draft Capital
1992 3,477 1994 1,901 2015 1,192
2016 2,779 2014 1,655 2010 1,188
2005 2,717 1995 1,635 2007 1,142
2003 2,597 2013 1,555 2004 1,131
2002 2,527 1997 1,549 2001 962
2011 2,221 2006 1,517 2009 796
1998 2,124 1996 1,505 2000 545
2012 1,945 1999 1,482
2008 1,902 1993 1,268

With such an historic amount of draft capital, the Cowboys also have an historic responsibility. The 1992 draft class delivered likely future Hall of Famer Darren Woodson, and the 2005 class delivered likely future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware and is generally considered one of the best draft classes of the previous decade.

Obviously, most of the Cowboys' 2016 draft capital is tied to the fourth overall pick, but that just highlights the franchise-defining potential of the pick. The Cowboys have many options with that pick. They could draft the next franchise QB; they could draft the next HoF defender; they could parlay the pick into two first-round picks or multiple additional picks; but whatever they do, they need to make sure they get it right, because as we've seen above, opportunities like these are few and far between.

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There is no actual evidence that the traditional Trade Value Chart is outdated (draft day trades still adhere closely to the chart), but there are those who claim the numbers are antiquated and that there are better ways to measure draft capital.

One such method for figuring out the value of each individual pick comes from Football Perspective’s Chase Stuart, who used the Approximate Value metric to figure out what teams could expect to receive, on average, from each draft pick, and compiled his findings into a new Draft Value Chart.

The table below summarizes the draft capital each team has in the 2016 NFL draft using both the traditional value chart and Stuart's updated value chart, shown here as "FP Value". For your convenience, the table is sortable (just click on the blue column headers).

2016 Draft Capital by Team
Team Picks Trade Value
FP Value
Tennessee 8 4,021 66.1
Cleveland 10 3,700 67.8
San Diego 9 3,161 57.1
Dallas 9 2,779 56.4
Baltimore 9 2,622 60.9
Jacksonville 8 2,617 53.4
San Francisco 13 2,556 62
Los Angeles 6 2,267 51.1
Miami 8 2,238 48.5
Tampa Bay 8 2,221 48.9
NY Giants 6 2,158 47.2
Chicago 9 2,120 47.8
New Orleans 6 1,932 43
Oakland 8 1,920 46.4
Detroit 10 1,731 45.3
Philadelphia 9 1,693 42.5
Atlanta 5 1,599 37.3
Indianapolis 6 1,592 39.5
Buffalo 6 1,577 39.9
NY Jets 6 1,502 38.3
Houston 8 1,449 40
Washington 7 1,439 38.7
Seattle 9 1,369 40.6
Minnesota 7 1,361 36.5
Cincinnati 7 1,335 36.8
Green Bay 9 1,322 42.2
Pittsburgh 7 1,237 33
Kansas City 8 1,216 36.8
Denver 10 1,182 38.7
Arizona 7 1,162 35.5
Carolina 6 1,096 32.6
New England 9 631 26.7

The picks for each team are taken from Draftsite.com, who have incorporated OTC's Comp Pick Projection into their 7-round draft order.