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Four compensatory picks give Cowboys 10 total picks in 2018 NFL Draft

The Cowboys played their cards right in free agency and got four comp picks in return, but can they get value from those picks?

NFL Draft

One day after the official start of free agency in March last year, I wrote that the Cowboys would likely end up with four compensatory draft picks in the 2018 NFL draft.

In any case, there's a good chance the Cowboys could net up to four comp picks in the 2018 NFL draft, and those picks will probably be in the fourth and fifth rounds of the draft, a slightly better haul than the four comp picks they got in the 2016 draft.

Today, as the 2017 season has come to a close, it is clear that the Cowboys played their cards right and are going to have four compensatory draft picks in the 2018 NFL draft.

The Cowboys will be awarded the maximum of four comp picks (per OverTheCap.com) for the losses of

  • Ronald Leary (4th round compensatory pick)
  • Barry Church (4th)
  • Brandon Carr (5th)
  • Morris Claiborne (5th)

In addition to the four comp picks, the Cowboys still have six regular picks in the draft (they traded away their 2018 5th-rounder to the Jets for a 2017 6th-round pick, which they used on Xavier Woods).

That currently gives the Cowboys 10 picks in the 2018 draft as follows

  • 1st rd: 1
  • 2nd rd: 1
  • 3rd rd: 1
  • 4th rd: 3 (of which two are comp picks)
  • 5th rd: 2 (both comp picks)
  • 6th rd: 1
  • 7th rd: 1

Unlike the last time the Cowboys were awarded comp picks, these comp picks can now be traded just like any other draft pick. That gives the Cowboys a lot of options during the draft.

The key question for the Cowboys is, can they get value from all those extra picks?

The last time they had four comp picks (in 2016), they lucked into their future franchise quarterback, which is about as much value as you can get from these picks. Here's their comp pick haul from that year:

  • 4th: QB Dak Prescott
  • 6th: S Kavon Frazier
  • 6th: RB Darius Jackson
  • 6th: TE Rico Gathers

With four comp picks in 2018, the Cowboys continue to solidify their position as one of the most successful teams at garnering comp picks. Since 1994, the first year that compensatory draft picks were awarded, the Cowboys will have received 37 comp picks, the third most in the league. The table below shows the total comp picks by team since 1994, including OTC's projection for the number of comp picks in 2018.

Comp Picks by NFL team, 1994-2018
Team '94-'17 2018 Total Team '94-'17 2018 Total Team 94-'17 2018 Total
Baltimore 48 1 49 Buffalo 28 28 Jacksonville 19 19
Green Bay 38 4 42 Kansas City 23 1 24 Minnesota 17 2 19
Dallas 37 4 41 NY Giants 23 1 24 Tampa Bay 18 1 19
New England 34 1 35 Arizona 19 3 22 Carolina 17 17
LA Rams 33 33 Indianapolis 22 22 Chicago 17 17
Cincinnati 28 4 32 Denver 20 1 21 Houston 12 3 15
Pittsburgh 32 32 Detroit 21 21 NY Jets 14 14
Philadelphia 30 30 Oakland 17 4 21 Cleveland 13 13
San Francisco 30 30 LA Chargers 19 1 20 Washington 12 12
Tennessee 30 30 Miami 20 20 New Orleans 10 10
Seattle 29 29 Atlanta 18 1 19

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