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The Cowboys might be smart to trade all the way out of the first round of the draft

The 2022 NFL Draft is a strange one.

NFL: APR 27 2018 NFL Draft
Is this what we will see on day 1?
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s Day 1 of the NFL Draft. We are focused on what the Dallas Cowboys will do with the 24th overall selection. While most of the discussion is on who they will take at that spot, there is also a lot of talk about whether they might choose to trade back. Due to the nature of the 2022 draft class, there are some strong arguments to made for them to trade back. A big part of that is just how far back they would want to trade. While most discussions are about finding a partner to move back a few picks, there is also another way they could go. They could trade all the way out of the first and accumulate more picks, especially in the second through fourth rounds.

Why would they want to do this? This year the talent is seen to be different than it usually looks. Here is a chart to illustrate that.

As you can see, the thinking is that the value of the players falls off faster this year, but then flattens considerably. Given that every pick has the potential to bust, the rapid decline early for 2022 points to there being a better chance to hit on players on day two and during the fourth round on day three. It actually may be more pronounced this year than the chart looks, with the crossover point of the curves being earlier than this shows.

Stephen Jones has been alluding to this being very much the concept the Cowboys have for the draft. That leads to the big question: What could they get back to make this all work by loading up on those second- through fourth-round shots?

One team that works is the New York Jets. They currently hold picks 35 in the second and 71 in the third. While that is a bit of a stretch under the old Jimmy Johnson draft value chart, that is widely seen as overvaluing the higher picks. A more current attempt to value draft picks is at Drafttek. According to that chart, pick 24 is worth 237 points. 35 and 71 total 244. If that is not close enough, Dallas could throw in one of the fifth-round supplemental picks to bring the value dead even.

We discussed this idea in larger detail on the latest episode of Ryled Up on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our episodes! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.

That would give the Cowboys early and late picks in both the second and third rounds. They could also work out a similar deal with the Detroit Lions to get picks 34 and 66, although that would probably require packaging a couple of fifth-rounders to get the numbers close enough to work, such as 167 and 178. Still, the gain of two very early picks in the second and third would be worth it.

Dallas might even find a willing trade partner in their division. The New York Giants hold picks 36 and 67, and getting those numbers to work out would only require Dallas adding their lone sixth-round pick to even things up.

All three of the candidates listed here have draft picks that the Cowboys might want to gain in a trade back, and all three are definitely in a rebuilding mode that might have them coveting someone available at 24. There are many other possibilities that can be found. They could trade back with the Houston Texans straight up for 37 and 68, for instance, and only give up two points under the Drafttek table.

So how far is too far for the Cowboys to consider? It all depends on their board and how the draft actually goes. But if you listen to what Stephen Jones is saying, it is not out of the question. It would leave many of us grumpy about not having a pick on day one, but it could turn day two into a very exciting time.