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Four players the Dallas Cowboys should consider trading up for in the second round of the NFL Draft

If the Cowboys could move up in the second round of the draft, who do you hope it’s for?

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NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys don’t get to select a player until pick 58. That’s so long. Yes, we keep reminding ourselves that the team now has Amari Cooper on the roster and that makes us feel better. But still, there are a lot of great players in the upcoming draft that aren’t even in consideration for the Cowboys this year. Certainly, there are ways around this. The front office could get back into the first round by simply trading more future draft capital. That’s an expensive route to go.

While we should just come to terms that the Day 1 guys are out of reach, things might be a little different once Day 2 rolls around. In 2014, the Cowboys saw an opportunity to land what they believed was one of the top edge rushers in the draft. So what did they do? They traded up in the second round to grab Boise State star DeMarcus Lawrence. What a great move that turned out to be. What if the Cowboys feel another star caliber player is falling and they want to move up again? Should they give up their third-round pick to do it? Who would that player have to be for the Cowboys to make the trade?

Before we answer that, let’s set some ground rules. First, we need to understand that the Cowboys have pick 58 and pick 90, which according to the trade value chart from, packing those picks together is equivalent to the 44th overall pick. Whomever the Cowboys chose to move up for would have to be available at this area in the draft.

But we won’t be looking for the 44th best player in the draft. The Cowboys could get that if they just stood pat at 58. For Dallas to make this deal, it would have to be for a player who they have ranked somewhere late in the first round that has fallen. So for this experiment, we’re going to look at players who are high on some boards, but have slipped on others. If you come across one of these players that you think there is no way they’ll be available around pick 44 - good. That’s exactly how the Cowboys front office needs to pull off this type of deal. Let’s take a look at some “must have” players that could fall within striking distance.

S - Nasir Adderly, Delaware

Dane Bruglar Rank: 26

Draft Tek rank: 38

This years draft class has no consensus top safety. Depending on who you ask, you’ll hear different answers. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Deionte Thompson, and Johnathan Abram are a few names a the top. But along with those guys is Delaware’s Nasir Adderly. If you look at what this guy has shown on tape, he looks like the clear top guy, but playing at a small school could cause his draft stock to take a hit. Adderly has incredible range and excellent closing burst. He has fluid hips and changes direction well. His experience at cornerback shows as he exhibits great ball skills.

He’s a complete safety as he’s had 128 tackles and eight interceptions over the past two seasons. Adderly is a little bit of a risk taker, but he has the talent to immediately become the Cowboys new starting safety.

EDGE - Jachai Polite, Florida

Brugler Rank: 33

Draft Network Rank: 48

There are a lot of great edge rushers in this draft. From top five guys like Nick Bosa and Josh Allen to some mid first-round steals like Montez Sweat and Brian Burns - this is a good time to need a pass rusher. Of course, other positions will need to be drafted as well which means there could be some high upside defensive ends sliding. Florida’s Jachai Polite could be one of those guys.

Polite has an explosive first step and incredible bend to get around blockers. He’s got active hands, forcing five fumbles last season. He plays hard on every snap with a relentless motor. Everything thing about this guy screams DeMarcus Lawrence. The build, the attributes, even the character concern that might cause his draft stock to drop a bit. Of course, Tank is now viewed as one of the Cowboys leaders so a thorough interview may squash any of those concerns. Bottom line is this guy has the soul-snatching ability that the team needs along the edge. We’ve seen the team pull the trigger for a talented edge rusher once already so it very well could happen again.

DT - Dexter Lawrence, Clemson

Brugler Rank: 30

Draft Network Rank: 42

It’s incredibly scary to realize that both Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence manned the interior of the defensive line for Clemson. Fortunately for the rest of the ACC, these star defensive tackles are taking their talents to the NFL. Similar to defensive ends, this draft class for DT’s is pretty deep with some stud talent available in the first round. Some of this talent will spill over into Day 2 and if Lawrence is one of those guys, he could be a big prize for someone.

Lawrence is a monster of a being, but it’s just amazing to see how well he moves in the trenches. He’s not explosive out of his stance and isn’t seen as a premiere pass rushing defensive tackle, but this guy re-sets the line of scrimmage. The dangerous thing is that Lawrence isn’t a finished product, especially when it comes to his pass-rushing ability, but in the meantime some team is going to get an outstanding run stopper.

WR - Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

Brulger Rank: 32

Draft Network Rank: 38

This draft is filled with some great starting caliber defensive positions, but you can’t help wondering if one of the star receivers just might slide close enough to entice Jerry Jones to make a move. The electric “Showtime” Brown could be that guy. Viewed by many as a straight-up burner, the guy is dangerous in the open field because of his explosive speed. But Brown comes with more than just wheels. He’s a good route-runner who breaks out of his routes extremely well. If he gets enough space between the defender, it’s over. Brown also tracks the ball well and will be a deep threat for whatever team gets him.

The Cowboys already used their first-round pick for Amari Cooper. Would they dare give up their second and third for another one? Well, if he’s dynamic enough, why not? It feels so weird that it wasn’t that long ago when Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley were the team’s starting receivers. Could you imagine that in just a year’s time that entire group could be replaced with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Marquis Brown? Wow.

I wrote this article over the weekend, but I noticed that The Athletic had a similar piece that came out early this morning. We are on the same wavelength and they even mentioned that the early names of the Cowboys pre-draft visits are players that seem to be projected in that same area of the draft where Dallas would have to move up to get them. We might be on to something here.

What player would you like to see the Cowboys go after if he slides far enough?

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