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NFL draft 2023: Trading up or down and the value of the Cowboys’ pick No. 26

A look at how far the Cowboys can trade up or down using pick No. 26.

NFL: APR 27 2018 NFL Draft Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There a little under two months until the 2023 NFL Draft, so it’s time to start preparing for the big event of the offseason and what the Dallas Cowboys could possibly do with the 26th overall pick in the first round. Whether they choose to trade up, down, or stand pat has yet to be determined, however, knowing the value of the 26th pick ahead of time is probably wise.

Today, we will explore the possibility of trading up from No. 26 for a true difference-maker or trading down to acquire extra draft capital. To do this, we will use DraftTek’s handy-dandy 2023 NFL Trade Value Chart to determine the value of all of the draft picks, including the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys currently hold picks 26, 58, 90, 129, 162, 169, 176, 212, and 244.


Trading up is always a fun topic of discussion around Cowboys Nation, whether it’s realistic or not. It’s always fun to dream about the Cowboys moving up to snag one of the true difference-makers, however, it’s really important to know the cost of making such a move.

With that in mind, let’s take a look to see how far the Dallas Cowboys can trade up in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft using the 26th overall pick and their other draft capital.

Trading Cowboys’ 1st- and 2nd-round picks to move up:

26th pick (700 points) + 58th pick (320 points) = 15th pick (1050 points)

The Green Bay Packers and Washington Commanders currently hold the 15th and 16th overall picks in the first round in the 2023 NFL Draft and there is just a 50-point difference between the two. If the Cowboys want to trade up using their first- and second-round picks they can essentially move up into the Top 15.

Trading for the 16th overall pick favors the Commanders by 20 points and trading for the Packers 15th overall pick favors the Cowboys by 30 points. Both are pretty equal trades based on the value chart, however, the point differential is also close to a mid-to-late fifth-round pick.

Trading Cowboys’ 1st- and 3rd-round picks to move up:

26th pick (700 points) + 90th pick (140 points) = 20th pick (850 points)

The Seattle Seahawks currently hold the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. If they want to add an extra third-round pick to their draft capital, trading down six spots with the Dallas Cowboys makes a lot of sense. Of course, that’s nothing more than speculation right now.

This is pretty much as equal of a trade as it gets. There is just a 10-point differential that favors the Seahawks, which is equivalent to a late sixth-round draft pick.


As much fun as it is to think about the Cowboys trading up in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, trading down is probably the more likely scenario in order to add additional draft capital. That’s especially true this year with Dallas picking in the latter part of the first round at No. 26. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how far they would have to trade down to pick up an extra second-, third-, or fourth-round draft pick.

Trading down for an extra 2nd-round pick:

26th pick (700 points) = 43rd pick (470 points) + 74th pick (220 points)

If the Dallas Cowboys want to trade down in order to add an additional second-round draft pick the New York Jets are close to being the ideal trade partner. There is a slight 10-point differential that favors the Jets just a little bit, which equates to about a mid sixth-round draft pick. However, it’s close enough in value both teams could be satisfied as is.

Trading down 17 spots and adding the Jets 43rd and 74th overall draft picks would give the Cowboys a total of four selections in the Top 100 (43, 58, 74, 90). It is a bit of a risk to trade down that far considering the players they could be passing up, but adding another selection in the Top 100 could be worth it. That’s the gamble of trading down though.

Trading down for an extra 3rd-round pick:

26th pick (700 points) + 176th pick (19.8 points) = 31st pick (600) + 95th pick (120 points)

The Kansas City Chiefs would make a good trade partner if the Dallas Cowboys are looking to add an extra third-round draft pick to their collection. Swapping first-round picks in addition to the Chiefs third-rounder would create a 20-point differential, so the Cowboys might have to toss in the 176th overall pick for good measure to balance things out.

Trading back just five spots in order to add an extra third-round draft pick is a realistic possibility depending on how things play out on draft day. If the Cowboys believe the player they are targeting will still be there five picks later it’s almost a no-brainer to become trade partners with the Super Bowl Champions to make this scenario become reality.

Trading down for an extra 4th-round pick:

26th pick (700 points) = 28th pick (660 points) + 130th (42 points)

The Cincinnati Bengals would make a good trade partner for the Dallas Cowboys if they are interested in adding another fourth-round pick to their draft capital. As far as trade value is concerned, there is just a two-point differential that slightly favors the Bengals. Cincinnati could toss in a seventh-round pick, however, that may or may not be necessary.

If the Cowboys believe they can trade down a couple spots and still snag the player they are targeting they likely wouldn’t hesitate to make this trade. That of course all depends on the Bengals’ willingness to trade up two spots to select a player they believe won’t make it to them when they are on the clock at No. 28.

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