Why Finishing 8-8 Improves Cowboys’ 2018 NFL Draft Position

    The majority of believes there is nothing on the line for the in the season finale against the . Yes, any aspirations of seeing the Cowboys making the have been squashed after the devastating loss on Christmas Eve to the , but there is something at stake still… positioning.

    It may seem like a minuscule thing right now because many of us are still extremely disappointed how the Cowboys played on Christmas Eve, but draft positioning is still important for the future of this organization. So important in fact that I believe Dallas would be better off finishing the season with an 8-8 record instead of 9-7 and I will tell you why.

    The Dallas Cowboys are currently slotted to select 19th overall in the 2018 based on their current record and strength of schedule. Of course, this could all change based on how things turn out in the final week of the 2017-.

    There are currently eight NFL teams who could finish the season with an 8-8 record, including the Cowboys. But, the are currently the only team who could possibly finish 8-8 and still make the playoffs as a wild-card candidate. Let's take a look at how things stand right now.

    13. (7-8)
    14. (7-8)
    15. (7-8)
    16. (8-7)
    17. (8-7)
    18. (8-7)
    19. Dallas Cowboys (8-7)
    21. Tennessee Titans (8-7)

    So, you can see for yourself how finishing 8-8 could shake up the 2018 NFL Draft order. But, let's try to break this down a little bit further to see just how much the Cowboys can improve their draft positioning.

    Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett, Stephen Jones
    Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

    Let's pretend all of these teams finish 8-8, because that simplifies things quite a bit. Also, let's take the Titans out of the equation completely and pretend they make the playoffs. That leaves seven teams to shuffle around and figure out exactly where they will be slotted to select in the 2018 NFL Draft.

    Unfortunately, the Dallas Cowboys strength of schedule doesn't really help them a lot. Out of the seven teams, only the Redskins (.538) and Packers (.538) have a more difficult strength of schedule than the Cowboys (.500). That means the Cowboys would only move up two spots to the 17th overall pick.

    Selecting 17th isn't that much of an improvement, but you never know how things will shake out once the draft gets underway. Moving up two spots could land them the player they wanted all along, but that's a discussion for another time.

    Fortunately, I think the Cowboys can move up even further. For fun, I'm going to predict how the 2018 NFL Draft order will look after based on which of these teams win and lose to close out the season.

    13. Arizona Cardinals (7-9)
    14. Green Bay Packers (7-9)
    15. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
    16. Washington Redskins (8-8)
    17. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7)
    18. Buffalo Bills (9-7)
    19. Detroit Lions (9-7)

    Now, this is where I think the Dallas Cowboys benefit from losing their season finale this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. Picking in the top 15 of the 2018 NFL Draft should land them a blue-chip player and someone who should not only start right away, but hopefully be a cornerstone of the organization for years to come. These types of players are hard to come by.

    So you can see, the Dallas Cowboys really have nothing to gain from winning the game against the Philadelphia Eagles and finishing the season with a 9-7 record. They will still be picking 19th overall, but in losing I believe they will move up all the way to the 15th overall spot.

    Are you rooting for the Cowboys to finish with an 8-8 record?

    Brian Martin
    Brian Martin
    Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


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    Joshua Blue Killion

    As much as I love my Cowboys I will be hoping we lose just for this reason. This game is pointless anyways so why not try to better our draft position. Also fingers crossed that our house gets cleaned in the coaching dept, ie linehan and marinelli. I’m also on board with ridding ourselves of Dez and possibly drafting a wr first round if a decent one is available. Time for some changes.


    Why are you getting rid of Marinelli considering we had one of the 3 best pass rushers that flourished under Marinelli and the rest of the defense markedly got better as the season went on? Just to “shake things up”? There’s such a thing as continuity that helps young defenses, look it up.


    I agree! Dallas should play players who have rarely had a chance to play much, and sit certain important players to protect their health…Lee, T Smith, LaEl Collis. finish 8-8, and help your draft status. Get a real no.1 and move on from Dez, or make him a no, 2 with a reduced contract (if he agrees). AND replace Linehan! Otherwise, it’ll be more of the same.

    Tristan Hays

    I wish Garrett would be fired but that won’t happen. At least get rid of Linehan and Marinelli! Get rid of Dez. His time is done with the Cowboys. We need quite a bit of players and we don’t have enough picks to fill all our holes. We won’t be good enough to really compete for a couple more years! Between constant injuries and constant lack of play with our “best” players we are a mess! I think our 3 biggest problems are Garrett, Linehan and Dez!


    Linehan and Marinelli are overrated, but are going nowhere, so continue to tolerate mediocrity at it’s best.


    I don’t think they are going anywhere either, but I’d like to see us get another WR coach. Plus, if Dez isn’t going to take a pay cut, then for 12.5 million learn how to run routes, because he needs more tools in his toolbox.


    And…play Cooper Rush at least a full half!

    Tristan Hays

    I agree! Dak needs to know that he doesn’t have his job secure! He needs to get WAY better if we’re going to have a solid chance in the future! But more than anything I wish they would get rid of Garrett, Linehan and Dez! We all know that Garrett isn’t going anywhere though… ugh!

    Tristan Hays

    We better lose!! After the loss they better fire some coaches and trade Dez!


    Yes, I’m rooting for the 15th selection in the upcoming draft. But with this organization they will probably screw it up. Hopefully, the organization with Stephen and McClay, will continue to hit homeruns, and keep Jerry tied up in a closet, with duck tape over his mouth.


    Good article on the draft that many a Cowboy fan is already contemplating…including me. I think we should play this game like a preseason game. All the back-ups start after the first couple of series. If Dak wants to wash the hands of the Seattle game, he may need to wait until next season. Right now Fanspeak in giving the Cowboys 4 compensatory picks- (2 in the 4th round and 2 in the 5th round) totaling 10- picks in 2018. If we were to get the 15th pick verses the 19th pick., the value is equal to a high 3rd round pick. I hope we lose and I pray we are smart enough to see how are rookies and back-ups play in a regular season game. We will learn about them and that experience will be invaluable to those players for next year.


    I don’t like the idea of deliberately throwing this game to improve our draft position.

    It’s not your draft position that counts, it’s what you do with your draft position. Don’t believe me? Consider the Patriots. They’ve made the playoffs something like ten of the last eleven years (or thereabouts). So their draft position has been consistently bad, yet they make the playoffs every year because they draft well and they play the cap-game well, as well as free-agency. Even in the year they lost Brady, I think they went 11-5, missing the playoffs, but still drafting pretty high.

    If they can do it, so can we.


    Seriously? What more could we get at 15 that we can’t get at 18? Do you know how bad it feels for the players to end the season on a two-game losing streak and to not even finish with a winning record? Picking a few draft positions up doesn’t make up for that.