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2019 NFL Draft: Cowboys projected to earn fourth-round compensatory pick for Anthony Hitchens

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The Cowboys won’t have a first-round pick, but they picked up a fourth-rounder.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

An offseason ago the Dallas Cowboys lost one of their better linebackers in Anthony Hitchens to the Kansas City Chiefs during free agency. We later found out that the Chiefs even wanted to trade for Hitchens before the 2017 season ever began.

Hitchens wound up playing a big role for the Cowboys that season thanks to Sean Lee battling injuries. His loss in free agency loomed large because things with Jaylon Smith were still uncertain. It was a slight gamble by the front office.

Fast forward almost a year and the Cowboys have one of the better linebacking corps in the NFL. Jaylon did indeed turn a corner and he did so next to the first-round rookie linebacker the Cowboys invested in, Leighton Vander Esch. The two have played so well that Sean Lee has become a bit of an afterthought.

As Hitchens left the Cowboys after his rookie contract expired he is eligible for the NFL’s compensatory pick formula. Nobody really knows exactly how the formula works, when the league announces comp picks it’s sort of a surprise to many.

Surprise! The Cowboys are projected to get a fourth-round compensatory pick for Hitchens. This was expected and is very good to see.

These projections are from OverTheCap.com and there are always risks that they could not be totally accurate. OTC has added a few qualifiers that would amend what the Cowboys may or may not get when it comes to comp picks.

If Deonte Thompson qualifies and Bene Benwikere does not qualify, Dallas will not get a 4th for Anthony Hitchens.

If Deonte Thompson does not qualify and Bene Benwikere does qualify, Dallas will be eligible for a 7th for Benwikere, but it would be unlikely to make the 32-pick limit.

If Deonte Thompson and Bene Benwikere qualify, nothing changes for Dallas.

Dallas moved on from wide receiver Deonte Thompson earlier this season and seemingly did so in time for him to not count against them as far as the compensatory formula. We’ll find out all of the comp picks a few weeks after the Super Bowl.

The Cowboys obviously do not have their first-round pick as they traded it for Amari Cooper. Any extra picks that they can pick up will certainly help in the 2019 Draft.