How Much Trading Power Do Cowboys 2017 Draft Picks Have? ⋆
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How Much Trading Power Do Cowboys 2017 Draft Picks Have?

Cowboys Draft: Could This Rising QB Help the Cowboys Trade Out of the First Round? 1

NFL Draft

How Much Trading Power Do Cowboys 2017 Draft Picks Have?

How Much Trading Power Do Cowboys 2017 Draft Picks Have?

As we look ahead to this Thursday’s night and the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, let’s hypothesize about a very possible scenario. We’re going to consider what the Cowboys can reasonably do if they want to move up in the first round; what sort of trade value their 2017 picks really have.

Put yourself in the Dallas Cowboys war room. The pass rusher you really covet is falling pick by pick, but you don’t think he’s going to make it to the #28 spot. This is the THE guy; you have to make this happen. Anyone else will feel like a disappointment.

Based on the traditional chart for draft pick value, which you can find easily at multiple sources on the web, here is the mathematical trade potential for all of the Cowboys 2017 picks:

  • Rnd 1, Pick 28 = 660 points
  • Rnd 2, Pick 60 = 300 pts
  • Rnd 3, Pick 92 = 132 pts
  • Rnd 4, Pick 133 = 40 pts (appx)
  • Rnd 6, Pick 211 = 7-10 pts (appx)
  • Rnd 7, Pick 228 = no value
  • Rnd 7, Pick 246 = no value

Now, back to the war room. You’re really wanting “War Daddy” pass rusher so you start looking at the teams ahead of you. You’re willing to give up your third-round pick to move up. That’s a nice deal, right?

The combined value of the 1st (660) and 3rd (132) picks is just 792 points. That puts you somewhere around the 21st or 22nd picks, which are valued at 800 and 780 points. You move up 6-7 spots and lose a third-round pick.

Now, third-round picks are a mixed bag. You may not be sweating that loss if it means another average guy like Terrance Williams or J.J. Wilcox, or even someone on Tyrone Crawford’s level.

But what about another instant stud like Maliek Collins? How about a future star like DeMarco Murray? Or how about a future Hall of Famer like Jason Witten?

Cowboys Draft: 3 Prospects Cowboys Could Trade Up For

Could injury concerns push elite safety prospects Malik Hooker into the Cowboys range?

Let’s get a little crazier. What if someone unexpectedly falls out of the Top 10, such as safety Malik Hooker with his health concerns? Could you possibly move up to snag one of them?

Combining your first and second-round picks, like the Cowboys did in 2012 to go get Morris Claiborne, gives you way more value. Unfortunately, the pick value get exponentially higher as you move up. The combined value of those picks in 2017 is 960 points, which is roughly equal to the 17th draft pick.

You moved 6-7 slots with your 1st and 3rd-round picks but only 11 slots with the 1st and 2nd rounders. Ideally, you hope that the quality of the player selected offsets the diminishing return on the trade. That becomes a huge part of your evaluation and ultimate decision.

And in case you’re wondering, the combined value of all three picks would only get you to about the 14th pick. That’s not enough movement to give up so many turns at the roulette wheel, nor would it likely get you to where a Top-10 talent would fall.

Derek Barnett

DE Derek Barnett from Tennessee could fall into the Cowboys trading range.

Given the Cowboys painfully obvious need for a dynamic edge rusher, they might justify combining picks to get one. One could argue that a boost to the pass rush will do more to help the secondary than any one cornerback or safety could. It is reminiscent of the logic behind drafting Ezekiel Elliott over Jalen Ramsey last year; a ripple effect helping the defense more than a single player can.

Coming off a 13-win season and division title, the Cowboys are looking to push their young team to the next level of contention. While they have a big window ahead for guys like Elliott and Dak Prescott, other stars such as Jason Witten, Sean Lee, and Dez Bryant don’t have another decade to chase their first Super Bowl. Dallas needs to attack this now while their veterans are still able to be major contributors.

That mentality could push the Cowboys to try to move up in this draft. It will depend on how the defensive end talent starts coming off the board. Whether it’s a top-tier guy falling or a run on pass rushers draining the pool quickly, Dallas may need to get aggressive if they want to add a game-changing talent now.

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!

9 Comments
  • Russ_Te

    These are the conundrums your GM is supposed to know how to handle… ;^)

    I would introduce 2 elements true this year, that probably stop me from moving up:

    – The Cowboys were gutted in FA and now need a lot of cog players and several project acquisitions that have a chance to hit.

    – DE is big, CB is big for your defense if you get an impact guy at either spot.

    So if a coveted DE is falling, but a coveted CB is expected to be there for you at 28 – I take the later.

    When Deion Sanders was on the team (not that this draft has a Deion), my philosophy of the most important position on defense changed. I always believed from the days of Harvey Martin, that RDE will win you games outright.

    And it will. But look at how Sanders changed Campo’s defenses. He takes the opponent’s best WR nearly out of the game. Now they have to beat you with their next best receivers, and you get to walk a safety into the box a lot because said #1 WR is addressed already in your scheme by Sanders. That extra defender helps you deal with the short garbage, and helps you stuff the run.

    And that is why Campo had high ranked defenses without a dominant DL player. I’m fine with the right CB.

    • Jess Haynie

      Good stuff as always, Russ. However, a little Devil’s advocacy…

      1. I think Jaylon Smith and Charles Tapper finally debuting, in addition to several low-key FA signings, offsets the personnel losses. We’re going to have 53 worthy players come Week One.

      2. I have a hard time seeing a CB taken at #28 being an instant star, let alone a guy who can have a Deion effect. Think your’e better off trading the pick for Sherman if that’s your expectation.

      • Russ_Te

        No, I can’t expect a Deion-level CB but once a decade, if even that often. I just make the point about how he affected the entire D from the CB position, to put it on par with RDE in importance.

        Another way to do that is to note that even your top, dominant DE’s don’t notch 2 sacks per game. They often get pressure and that counts, but on most passing downs they will still get blocked effectively. Whereas that premiere CB, even if not thrown at, is taking a top WR out of the play on most downs and setting up his teammates to work the others better.

        But I will take a dominant RDE without many complaints…

        But if I’m getting that instead of a starting CB and an eventual starting (X) in Round 2, this is a year you might need the 2 starters. It will all be driven by who is falling down the 1st round, as you mentioned. Given the several DE’s that will probably get snapped up quickly, I think the odds are good that a top CB is on the board at 28.

        Somebody lock Jerry in the closet on Wednesday… ;^)

        • Jess Haynie

          Fair points on dominant CB VS dominant DE. I just think that unless you’re up top and taking Lattimorethen there’s no reason to think you’re getting that kind of CB in this class. Lots of good-great guys and longtime starters, but anyone who emerges as the next “shutdown” corner will be a surprise like Sherman.

          • Russ_Te

            Right – just hopeful for enough luck that a top-rated player falls to 28. If that’s not a DE or CB, it can really get controversial this year.

            Everyone has a mock prediction but my guess is they will hold at 28 and the player will be a CB or SS. If the SS is the better player, I can’t argue with it.

            But I still want to look at Jaylon Smith for SS at camp… ;^)

  • John Williams

    Excellent work Jess.

    Good to see in number form what the options are. I think the price to move up is way too high considering the depth at positions of need for the Dallas Cowboys.

    Even if it’s THE GUY they want, I still like that they have options in the first three rounds to add impact defensive players.

    DE and DB in the first has been well documented. In the second or third there are options as well, better to add 2 or 3 players who can make an impact on the team than just one. Unless that one is Myles Garrett, which it won’t be.

    • Jess Haynie

      Thanks John!

      I agree that what it takes to move up is generally not worth giving a 2nd or 3rd round pick, especially in a deep draft like this one. If you think about last year and the kind of impact that Maliek Collins had; I’d rather have three of him than one of most other guys.

      Of course, there are a few truly elite prospects who I’d give up every pick for. You mentioned one of them. I’d also throw Hooker/Adams and Solomon Thomas in that mix. MAYBE O.J. Howard?

      • John Williams

        Yeah Howard is definitely an interesting name to keep an eye on as the draft falls. The names you mentioned are worthy as well.

        but again it’s hard to trade that away when we are talking about the possibility of adding day on contributors at positions of need in each of the first three rounds.

  • Russ_Te

    As the situation sat last year, I will say I was a proponent of selling picks or players to move up for Goff or Wentz.

    Because QB need seemed dire enough to justify it, and coming off a 4-12 year it was an unusual chance to nab a franchise QB just as Romo was dilapidating. It’s much harder to do that from down the draft of course.

    As we know Jones did try to trade up after taking Elliott, for Paxton Lynch. That one I was against because he was a project QB – don’t sell off your team for that.

    Jones defaulted into Dak because the try for Lynch failed, and I believe the rest of the War Room was sold on Prescott. As it turned out Lynch was a project, Dak was not – and he looks better now than Goff or Wentz.

    So a strike like that again in mid-rounds, this year for a defensive player or a RT or TE, would be most useful.

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