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Cowboys projected only one compensatory pick in 2019, but could pick up three more

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The choice between keeping a guy, or possibly getting a draft pick, for the Cowboys.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys-Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 season is still ridiculously far away, but we’re looking forward to 2019.

We’re inside of a year to the 2019 NFL Draft, and preparation is key (we even have mocks). The potential needs of the Cowboys are obviously unknown at this point, but they’ll do their best to address them. One way to do that is to use their compensatory picks wisely.

Comp picks are all the rage these days, especially since they’ve become eligible to be traded. Dallas has done nicely with their comp picks in the past, Dak Prescot was a comp pick. So how many does the team have next year? Over The Cap has them with a lone one, a fourth-round pick for Anthony Hitchens who went to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Back in March we talked about how the Chiefs tried to trade for Anthony Hitchens last July. It was a good thing that the Cowboys didn’t do that deal considering how much they needed Hitchens throughout the 2017 season, but on top of that he’ll likely net them a fourth-round pick two years later. That’s smart business, Will McClay.

Three Cowboys could fall victim in training camp due to compensatory formulas

While it’s great that Dallas will likely have that extra fourth-round pick in 2019, they could conceivably pick up three more compensatory picks. All they have to do is (this is awkward) cut three particular players. Per OTC:

The Cowboys currently have only one comp pick on the board, a 4th for Anthony Hitchens. However, none of the three low level CFAs they signed (Kony Ealy, Cameron Fleming, and Deonte Thompson) have guarantees larger than $1 million. If Dallas cuts any to all of them, they could pick up a maximum of an extra 6th round and two 7th round comp picks.

Of the three, Cameron Fleming is likely the safest on the Cowboys. With Connor Williams in the fold things seem to shake out with Fleming as the team’s primary swing tackle. That’s needed.

Deonte Thompson carries a $1.8M cap hit this season and would cost them $1M against the cap if released, but it’s not like that can’t be overcome. Kony Ealy is a bit more manageable with only a $200k charge in dead money if let go.

Both Thompson and Ealy are in rooms that are a bit crowded, so it’s not inconceivable that either could be sacrificed for a future comp pick, however minimal in value a sixth- or seventh-round pick sounds.

Throughout draft weekend the Cowboys netted two receivers and added two defensive linemen. Competition is always welcome, and if it yields them the ability to gain extra picks, well that’s just the cherry on top.