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2020 Draft: Should Cowboys Trade Up if CBs Okudah, Henderson Fall Into Range?

There is a general consensus that the Dallas Cowboys’ biggest need headed into the 2020 NFL Draft is at cornerback. Unfortunately, there’s also a majority projection that the class’ top two corners, Jeff Okudah and C.J. Henderson, will be gone before the 17th pick.

Should the Cowboys consider trading up to select one of these players? If so, how much should they be willing to give to do it?

If you were to break the cornerback prospects up into tiers, Okudah would be alone on top as a truly “elite” prospect. He is expected to go in the Top 5 of the draft. Most would have Henderson below him on his own tier, expected to go anywhere in that 5-15 range and also having outstanding potential.

When you get into the next tier of names such as Trevon Diggs, Kristian Fulton, Jeff Gladney, or A.J. Terrell, there is a lot more debate about how these players compare to each other.

The Cowboys should have their pick of any of that that third tier of talent if they stay put at the 17th pick. They could also potentially trade down and land one of these guys while acquiring an additional mid-round, or go with a top prospect at another position like defensive end or safety.

But if Dallas has the goal to come out of this draft with either Jeff Okudah or C.J. Henderson, they’re probably going to have to trade up to make it happen.

Jeff Okudah
Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah

Now the idea of landing Okudah is mostly a pipe dream. Again, he’s probably going somewhere in the Top 5 and perhaps even the Top 3.

But stranger things have happened.

Dallas would probably have to turn over its 1st-round pick in 2021 if they wanted to move up from 17 to get into that Top 5 range. But if Okudah were to slip down into the 8-10 range, the Cowboys could potentially move up that far by giving up their 2020 2nd-round pick.

If part of your brain just screamed “MORRIS CLAIBORNE,” you’re not alone.

Yes, that would be a lot of draft capital to invest in a single player. But Okudah comes into the NFL with the same kind of hype and perceived upside as any of the elite corner prospects we’ve seen over the years.

Sometimes those guys turn out to be a Claiborne. Other times, they’re a Patrick Peterson. That’s as true at the top of the draft as it is at the 17th pick or anywhere else.

So no, the Cowboys aren’t going to give up next year’s 1st to move up for Okudah or any other player (unless Chase Young somehow fell, then LOOK OUT).

But if Okudah were to surprisingly drop toward the bottom of the Top 10, Dallas would have to consider making a major move to land a truly elite cornerback.

Complete 2020 3-Round Mock Draft: How did it Play out for the Dallas Cowboys? 9
Florida CB C.J. Henderson

The far more realistic scenario is the Cowboys trading up to get Henderson. While he could wind up going somewhere in the Top 10, there’s also a good chance he’s available somewhere much closer to Dallas’ pick at 17.

Perhaps the biggest problem of all is the team picking right before the Cowboys. The Atlanta Falcons are perched at the 16th pick and are also pegged as having CB as their biggest draft need.

Thankfully, trading up just to get ahead of Atlanta isn’t nearly as expensive as some other scenarios we discussed.

There are reports that the 49ers, currently at the 13th pick, are looking to trade down. According to the traditional draft value chart, there is a difference of 200 points between the 13th and 17th picks.

The Cowboys could package their 3rd-round pick (180 pts) and one of their two 5th-rounders (24-18 pts) to facilitate that deal.

That trade would still leave Dallas with its 2nd, 4th, the other 5th, and 7th-round picks.

If Henderson slipped even further, say to Denver at the 15th pick, the Cowboys might be able to move up just using a 4th and 5th. They could also send the Broncos their 3rd and maybe get back an additional 4th to even the trade.

The reality of this comes down to many factors, of course. They include:

  • Does Dallas see one of Diggs, Gladney, etc. as being on that same talent tier, or at least very close, as Henderson?
  • Do the Cowboys feel that their needs at DE, S, or WR are just as concerning as the CB position?
  • Do the 49ers, Broncos, or anyone else really want to trade down?
  • Could the Falcons also be trying to move up, or do the Cowboys believe they may be looking at another position?

Clearly, Dallas has moves to make if they really want one of these top cornerback prospects badly enough. And given their history, we know the Joneses aren’t afraid to make them.

Just add this to the reasons that the 2020 NFL Draft should be very interesting for the Cowboys.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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  1. No, Dallas has so many needs that need improvement that we need to trade back. We should get enough picks where we can get 2 TE’S and 2 WR’S in this draft class. Behind Gallup and Cooper the WR core is pure trash, Blake Jarwin is an okay #2 TE but other rosters would have him as a #3 TE or practice squad, Bell is only a blocking TE and Schultz is below average everywhere. Still need Corner, Safety, D-line and O-Line as well.

  2. I have done a few and landed steals. I got Tyler Johnson and Isaiah Coulter as WR’S then I got Devin Isaiah and Thadeus Moss as my TE’S. Landed like 14 draft picks or more doing 3 trade backs. Also did 2 corners as well.

  3. What I did in my trade back was traded back to Jags pick 20th then traded my 20th to the Patriots for their 23rd pick and then traded back to Ravens 29th pick and got Trevon Diggs.

  4. I’ve done some mock drafts like that and got 2 WR’S, 2 TE’S and 2 corners in the draft. WR’S I got Tyler Johnson and Isiah Coulter, TE’S I got Devin Isaiah and Thadeus Moss sometimes Cheyenne O’Grady, Corners I got Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson. Rest where d-line and o-line besides a 7th round QB of Josh Love.

  5. The cowboys dont need more tight ends. We want our offense to put fear in opposing defense so we need 1 wr 1 defensive lineman 1 safety 2 cornerbacks and a linebacker no matter what order.fulton ,Terrell Annette and igbinogene. Wr johnson duvernay chaisson McKinney Delphi jefferson,Winfield hamlet davidson. Too name a few player dallas has got to hit on some players bottom line

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