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Cowboys Trade Options For Picks 7-15 In The 2016 NFL Draft

What the Cowboys want in a trade may not be what they end up getting. We look at what a good and a bad trade could look like for each pick from 7-15.

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After the Titans-Rams trade, it's a sure bet that the Rams will pick a quarterback with the first pick. That means the Cowboys may now be sitting in one of the most interesting spots of the draft.

There are three players that are likely to garner significant trade interest from other teams: Jalen Ramsey, Laremy Tunsil, and the second QB, whoever that may be. One of them is guaranteed to be available at No.4. Which means the Cowboys could be an interesting trade partner for teams looking to select one of those players.

Should the Cowboys immediately begin soliciting trade offers today to cover each of those three eventualities?

The Cowboys obviously have the option of sitting pretty and picking whichever player falls to them. But if they could move down a few spots, get a player they covet and get an extra pick or two on the second day, should they do it?

The Cowboys may have already prepared for such an eventuality. When the Cowboys brought in some of the top players in the draft for official pre-draft visits last week, it looks like they brought in three tiers of players. The Tier 1 players are Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Jalen Ramsey, and Joey Bosa, the four of which probably cover the Cowboys' options at the fourth overall pick. But they also invited six additional players what could be classified as Tier 2 players: prospects who could be a consideration for picks five though 15. The next tier of prospects are players that could slip to the top of the second round, as summarized in the table below.

Cowboys Pre-draft Visitors
Tier CBS Rank Name POS College
Tier 1 2 Jalen Ramsey CB Florida
3 Joey Bosa DE Ohio State
5 Jared Goff QB California
7 Carson Wentz QB N.D. State
Tier 2 6 Deforest Buckner DE Oregon
8 Ezekiel Elliott RB Ohio State
10 Vernon Hargreaves CB Florida
12 Shaq Lawson DE Clemson
Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss
14 Sheldon Rankins DT Louisville
Tier 3 27 Paxton Lynch QB Memphis
Kevin Dodd DE Clemson
Will Fuller WR Notre Dame

The Cowboys' board will likely look different than this table, but the notion of tiers is not that far-fetched. Let's assume that the Tier 2 players are graded roughly equal on the Cowboys draft board. The Cowboys could then move down a few spots, knowing that one of those Tier 2 players will be available at pick 10, and perhaps even as far down as pick 15.

From a draft value point of view, the Giants are one team that sits at an interesting point in the draft. If the Cowboys were to trade with the Giants, they'd still be guaranteed at least one of the Tier 2 players, and there's a perfectly equitable trade to be made that would secure the Cowboys an extra second rounder:

Cowboys 4 = Giants 10+40 (1,800 points = 1,800 points)

We saw earlier this week that teams tend to stick fairly close to the Trade Value Chart in draft day trades, so this could be a realistic trade scenario. Unfortunately, we also saw that the Trade Value Chart logic is shaky in the top 5 picks of the draft, and that teams trading down may have offer a discount to the team treading up to swing a trade.

Knowing this, the Giants might insist on such a discount and instead of offering their second-round pick, they throw in their third and fourth in a trade that would like this:

Cowboys 4 = Giants 10+71+109 (1,800 points = 1,611 points)

In this scenario, the Cowboys give up almost 200 points in draft value, the equivalent of a mid third-rounder. This trade looks much less attractive than the first trade proposal - in fact, it looks downright ugly, but it could be the best offer the Cowboys get. Because the reality of this draft may be that what the Cowboys want and what they may end up getting can be two very different things.

I did the same exercise for all teams from the 15th up to the 7th spot in the draft, and tried to identify two options for each potential trade partner

Option 1: What the Cowboys want - an equitable trade that would give the Cowboys at least one second-round pick

Option 2: What the Cowboys could end up getting - a worst-case deal in which they have to give up about 200 draft value points.

Pick Description Picks exchanged Trade Value Gain/Loss
15 The Titans want to move back up in the draft, perhaps to snag Laremy Tunsil after all. The Cowboys want a 2nd and a 3rd in an equitable deal. If the Titans play hardball, a second is all the Cowboys could get. 4 = 15+43+64 1,800 1,790 -0.6%
TEN 4 = 15+33 1,800 1,630 -9.4%
Pick Description Picks exchanged Trade Value Gain/Loss
14 Another deal that could net the Cowboys an extra 2nd and 3rd. If the Raiders balk at the offer, the Cowboys may have to accept a 2nd and 4th. 4 = 14+44+75 1,800 1,775 -1.4%
OAK 4 = 14+44+114 1,800 1,626 -9.7%
Pick Description Picks exchanged Trade Value Gain/Loss
13 Again, a 2nd and 3rd are possible in an equitable trade with the Dolphins. But it could also end up being just a single 2nd. 4 = 13+42+73 1,800 1,855 3.1%
MIA 4 = 13+42 1,800 1,630 -9.4%
Pick Description Picks exchanged Trade Value Gain/Loss
12 This is the fourth consecutive trade option that would net the Cowboys an extra 2nd and 3rd. Or the Saints could try to swing the trade with just their 2nd rounder. 4 = 12+47+78 1,800 1,830 1.7%
NO 4 = 12+47 1,800 1,630 -9.4%
Pick Description Picks exchanged Trade Value Gain/Loss
11 Chicago is a little trickier. A 2nd and 4th would be a fair deal, but the Bears might decide to keep their 2nd, and offer a 3rd, 4th, and 5th instead. 4 = 11+41+127 1,800 1,785 -0.8%
CHI 4 = 11+72+106+127 1,800 1,607 -10.7%
Pick Description Picks exchanged Trade Value Gain/Loss
10 An extra 2nd to trade down six spots. If the Giants insist on a discount, it could just be a 3rd and 4th. 4 = 10+40 1,800 1,800 0.0%
NYG 4 = 10+71+109 1,800 1,611 -10.5%
Pick Description Picks exchanged Trade Value Gain/Loss
9 In an equitable deal, the Cowboys get a 2nd and 5th, but have to throw in their own 4th. Lesser alternative: Dallas gets a 3rd and 5th. 4+101 = 9+39+148 1,896 1,892.2 -0.2%
TB 4 = 9+74+148 1,800 1,602.2 -11.0%
Pick Description Picks exchanged Trade Value Gain/Loss
8 Two thirds for the Cowboys would be equitable, one less would be the worst case.
4 = 8+77+79 1,800 1,800 0.0%
PHI 4 = 8+77 1,800 1,605 -10.8%
Pick Description Picks exchanged Trade Value Gain/Loss
7 Cowboys move down three spots and get the 49ers' 2nd and 6th, but have to throw in their 3rd. What might happen instead:  Cowboys move down three spots for just an extra 4th and 6th
4+67 = 7+37+178 2,055 2,051.2 -0.2%
SF 4 = 7+105+178 1,800 1,605.2 -10.8%

Going strictly by the trade value chart, the Cowboys could swing deals for an extra 2nd and 3rd by moving down to anywhere between picks 12-15. That's an interesting scenario, because it could allow the Cowboys to play those four teams against each other to get the best possible deal from one of them. Of course, there's always the risk that these trades net little more than an extra 2nd.

Trading back to anywhere between picks 7-11 should net the Cowboys an extra 2nd (except from the Eagles who don't have a second), but they might have to throw in some of their own picks to make the deal work. Worst case, the Cowboys might move down for just a 3rd or worse and some change.

There are of course many more permutations that would work in these trades, but the examples here show what an equitable deal could look like for each trade partner, and what a deal could look like that has the Cowboys giving a 200-point discount.

How far would you be willing to trade down, and would you accept one of the trades above in which you would have to give a discount?

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