In the National Football League, draft picks are an extremely valuable asset. Hitting on premium picks, mainly first- and second-rounders, can be what separates the good from the bad teams.
For the Dallas Cowboys, first-round picks have not been a problem. Dating back to 2010, nine of Dallas’ last 12 first-round picks have been selected to at least one Pro Bowl. Even more impressively, six of the 12 have been named a First-Team All-Pro at least one time.
Dallas has nearly mastered the art of acing their first-round pick, the second round is where things get shaky.
Looking at a list of every Cowboys’ second-round pick since 2002, it’s fair to say they are missing at a far higher rate than they are hitting.
Please, trade the damn 2nd round pick.— Burgers and Blitzes (@NotToBeTrite) March 14, 2023
I'm once again begging you. pic.twitter.com/FZMtuCC0Ic
Out of the 20 second-round picks, just four - Andre Gurode, Sean Lee, DeMarcus Lawrence, Trevon Diggs - went above and beyond the expectations Dallas had when they selected them. Other players like Julius Jones, Bruce Carter, Randy Gregory, Jaylon Smith, and Chidobe Awuzie had moments they played like a second-round pick should, but none really lived up to their true potential.
Two of Dallas’ last four second-round picks, Tyrsten Hill and Kelvin Joseph, have been two of the more significant draft misses for the Cowboys in recent memory.
Hill played in just 25 games during his 3.5-year tenure in Dallas and was so unproductive he was cut at the midpoint of last season. Joseph, just two years in, is following in Hill’s footsteps and seems to be on the outside of the roster bubble looking in heading into his third season in the league.
The best organizations in the league are constantly evolving, learning from, and improving upon their mistakes. We saw the Cowboys do one uncharacteristic thing already this offseason in trading a conditional fifth-round pick for veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Could they learn from previous years and do the same with their second-round selection? If they are smart, they should.
Dallas could leverage their second-round pick in a deal for a proven commodity to help their offense, like wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins or Brandin Cooks. While it would likely take more than just the second-rounder to get the deal done, that pick could be the most valuable asset Dallas would have to give up to acquire one of the wideouts.
Overall, the Cowboys are in win-now mode, and they should continue to act like it for the rest of this offseason. Dealing their second-round pick for a proven veteran would be a smart move and would continue to give them the best shot at contending for a Super Bowl next season.