There’s still nearly two whole months until the 2020 NFL Draft kicks off in April, but there’s already been quite a bit of talk around Cowboys Nation about the Dallas Cowboys trading up or down. Some fans would prefer Dallas to trade up and snag a true difference maker, while others prefer the idea of trading back to acquire more draft capital. Today, I thought we’d explore both options.
For this exercise I decided to use Drafttek’s handy-dandy 2020 NFL Trade Value Chart to determine the value of all of the draft picks around the league, including the Dallas Cowboys. According to Drafttek, the Cowboys hold the 17, 51, 82, 120, 164, 179, and 231 selections in the upcoming draft. Projected compensatory picks are included.
Let’s take a look at what it would cost the Dallas Cowboys to both trade up and down using Pick 17…
TRADING UP FROM PICK 17
The topic of trading up is always a popular one around Cowboys Nation, whether it’s realistic or not. It’s always fun to dream about the Dallas Cowboys moving up and snagging a difference maker in the first-round, but I think it’s important to know the cost of making such a move.
Using their current draft capital and Pick 17, how far can the Dallas Cowboys move up?
Trading Cowboys’ 1st and 2nd-round picks to move up:
- 17th Pick (950 points) + 51st Pick (390 points) = 10th Pick (1,300 points)
The Cleveland Browns are currently the owner of the 10th overall pick. Would they be interested in trading down to 17 with the Dallas Cowboys? I think it’s unlikely, but for arguments sake let’s pretend they are.
It’s not an equal trade and the Cowboys would essentially be losing 40 points and their 1st and 2nd-round picks to move up seven spots. But, trades are rarely equal anyway. So, which prospect would they be trading up for?
If it’s me, the only two players I think Dallas would move up for is either Jeffrey Okudah or Isaiah Simmons. If for whatever reason either one of them possibly slides that far I believe Jerry Jones would seriously consider pulling the trigger. It’s a lot to give up, but both Okudah and Simmons have the potential to be truly special.
Trading Cowboys’ 1st and 3rd-round picks to move up:
- 17th Pick (950 points) + 80th Pick (190 points) = 14th Pick (1,100 points)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently the owner of the 14th overall pick. Trading down three spots and picking up an extra 3rd-round pick would probably be appealing to them, but that’s nothing more than speculation right now.
For the Cowboys, this again isn’t an equal trade as far as the trade value chart is concerned. They would be giving up their 1st and 3rd-round draft picks and losing 30 points to do so. That 30 point difference is approximately what a 5th-round pick equals out to. That’s sometimes the cost of trading up though.
The only way I see the Dallas Cowboys making this trade is if someone they believed to be a top-10 pick slid for whatever reason. I personally don’t like the idea of giving up a 3rd-round pick to move up just three spots, but that all depends on the caliber player they are trading up for.
TRADING DOWN FROM PICK 17
As much fun as it is to think about the Dallas Cowboys trading up in the 2020 NFL Draft, the more likely scenario is to trade down to gain extra draft capital. Let’s take a look at what it would take for them to gain an extra second-round pick or an extra third-rounder.
Trading down for an extra 2nd-round draft pick:
- 17th Pick (950 points) = 27th Pick (680 points) + 59th Pick (310 points)
The closest the Dallas Cowboys can come to making an even trade and pick up an extra 2nd-round draft pick is with the Seattle Seahawks. They currently hold the 27th overall pick, which would mean the Cowboys would have to move down 10 spots. But, they’d also gain an extra 2nd-round selection (59th overall) giving them a total of four picks in the top-100 (27, 51, 59, 82).
This is a trade that favors the Cowboys by about 40 points, which is about what a late 4th-round draft pick is worth. It’s not an equal trade as far as a trade value chart is concerned, but that’s sometimes the cost of trading up in the draft. The two teams could try to make this more even by swapping later round picks, however the Cowboys hold all the leverage in this scenario.
Trading down for an extra 3rd-round draft pick:
- 17th Pick (950 points) = 22nd Pick (780 points) + 86th Pick (160 points)
I if think of the Dallas Cowboys are eyeing a trade partner to move down, the Buffalo Bills might be the ideal team to work with. Buffalo currently holds the 22nd overall pick, meaning the Cowboys wouldn’t have to move down too far and would still gain an extra 3rd-round selection in return. It also adds up to be a near-perfect trade.
The Cowboys would only be losing 10 points in this trade to move back five spots. But since they are the ones trading back, they should hold the leverage and could ask the Bills to sweeten the pot. 10 points doesn’t seem like much, but it does add up to what a 6th-round pick is approximately worth. Buffalo currently has three picks in that round and it just so happens to be the only round the Cowboys don’t have a selection because of the Robert Quinn trade last year.