The Cowboys have the capital if they are looking to move up in the draft.
It would be foolish to blindly say the Cowboys should trade up Thursday from No. 24. Such a decision is largely predicated on variables that won’t be known until the first round is well underway, including who remains of the most coveted prospects on the their draft board.
But if the Cowboys determine that trading up is warranted, they should feel comfortable embracing the maneuver, be it during the first round or a later one between Friday and Saturday. They have the capital. Dallas owns an NFL-high four picks in the fifth round. Between that stockpile and the compensatory selections that are forecast in 2023, the team has given itself flexibility. There is an opportunity to be aggressive if and when the front office deems the approach advantageous.
Maybe that means Thursday if a player the Cowboys value has lingered longer than expected. They could climb a few spots, perhaps by parting with multiple Day 3 picks. As a kicker, maybe this trade could net Dallas a seventh-round pick, something it currently doesn’t have.
Some takeaways from Tuesday’s press conference.
Contrary to many fans and media that believe the Cowboys have to get an offensive lineman or wide receiver early in this draft, Stephen Jones said "there are no musts" for his team as they enter the draft. That doesn't mean they don't have specific needs, and those two positions have to be included. But as for the word "must," Jones said that's not the case.
Stephen Jones did add that "free agency isn't over" and even hinted that there are more than a couple of ways to add veteran talent.
Jerry Jones was quoted last week as stating he could trade up in the draft. When asked on Tuesday to clarify which round, Jones said he was "generally" speaking. He added, "It'd be maddening to not consider anything. Trading can be a big part of things. I would not not-consider anything."
3 teams Cowboys should call if they want to trade back in 2022 NFL Draft - Aidan Davis, Blogging The Boys
If the Cowboys are looking to move down, they should call these three teams.
This would be a trade similar to last year. In 2021, Dallas traded two spots back with the Philadelphia Eagles, who wanted to jump the Bears to secure a wide receiver they believed in. Well, in this instance, the Titans would be jumping the Bills, who are also in a market for a receiver. With Emmanuel Sanders leaving Buffalo and Julio Jones leaving Tennessee, both are vying for a WR according to PFF’s listed needs.
So, if Jameson Williams or Chris Olave make their way to 24, and the Titans want to secure their guy, they become a trade-back candidate for the Cowboys. However, there are two downsides to trading back with Tennessee: The Titans and Bills are less needy for a wide receiver than the other teams picking past 24 and it is only two spots back. So, this trade likely wouldn't come with a lot of additional value.
Both Tennessee and Buffalo are in need of an offensive guard. So if Zion Johnson or Kenyon Green is still on the board and you trade back, you risk losing the guard you want.
If the Cowboys trade up, it likely will be for a pass-rusher or offensive linemen.
Dallas Cowboys: Trade Up for Edge-Rusher. If Oregon pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux really does slide past the first couple of selections in Thursday's Round 1, it may be a matter of which team gets to the phone first. According to The MMQB's Albert Breer, the Dallas Cowboys' "radar [is] up" for a potential Thibodeaux slide. Re-signing pass-rusher Randy Gregory was a "huge priority" for Dallas this offseason, and when he departed in free agency, he left a major hole in its front seven.
Unlike Baltimore, however, which could maneuver from No. 14 to within the top 10 to stop a potential Thibodeaux slide without mortgaging the future, the Cowboys would need to invest a heck of a lot of capital to get there. If Dallas, whose first pick isn't until No. 24, needed to move to No. 7, it would likely require giving up Nos. 24, 56 and 129 this year and a 2023 second- or third-rounder, per the trade value calculator.
If Dallas wanted to move up only a few spots to draft a pass-rusher, it's possible Houston's Logan Hall (Scouting Report) is on the short list. The Cowboys hosted the in-state prospect in a top-30 visit, per Walter Football.
After Defense-Heavy 2021 Draft, Will Cowboys Focus on Offense in 2022? - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star
It’s shaping up to be an offense-heavy draft class.
As a team with historically balanced drafting year to year, Dallas’ 2021 class was an outlier. But if balance is their typical goal, could the Cowboys seek to find it by making this year’s draft similarly one-sided towards offense? The foundation for an offensively-focused draft has certainly been laid. The departures of Amari Cooper, La’el Collins, Connor Williams, Cedrick Wilson, and Blake Jarwin have pulled the OL, WR, and TE positions to the top of pre-draft conversations.
Many draft projections for 2022 have the Cowboys going with an interior offensive lineman in the 1st round and then a WR in the 2nd, or vice versa. If that is how it unfolds, it’s not unreasonable to see a TE or OT being drafted in the 3rd round if there’s a top talent who falls.
But whereas Dallas was deep at most of those positions last year and able to stand pat on current talent, the defense isn’t nearly as well-stocked now. The Cowboys would certainly be justified to consider help on the defensive line or at linebacker early in this draft based on their needs.
Who do you think was the best draft pick in Cowboys’ history?
Another more recent pick is Tyron Smith, who lands at 19. While Smith was expected to fare well at left tackle, his ability to stay among the top three left tackles for many years is too great to ignore. Smith was drafted in 2011 as the ninth pick and has managed to be the mainstay at left tackle since then. Throughout his career to this point, the star lineman has racked up eight Pro Bowls, two first-team All-Pro selections, and two second-team All-Pro selections.
While he has struggled with injuries as of late, Smith is still one of the most dominant left tackles in the league. The future Hall of Famer has a lot to be proud of as his time as a Cowboy begins to wind down.
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