Almost two weeks ago, Jerry Jones said to media that he would consider trading up from the 24th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft if the right prospect fell into Dallas' range. Today, just a few days from the NFL's marquee offseason event, the Cowboys are rumored to be considering Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux as someone they'd move up for.
In today's “Monday Morning Quarterback” article for Sports Illustrated, Albert Breer hit a wide range of draft topics ahead of Thursday night. When he got to the Cowboys on a team-by-team list of thoughts and rumors, Breer said the following:
“Dallas could move up—I heard at one point last week that their radar was up for Thibodeaux potentially sliding.”
While the Cowboys did re-sign Dorance Armstrong and add veteran Dante Fowler Jr. this offseason, replacing Randy Gregory as a dynamic pass rusher is still a concern. If Thibodeaux, generally seen as one of the top 10-15 players in this class with comparisons to Jadeveon Clowney and Brian Orakpo, falls then one couldn't blame Dallas for trying to trade up for him.
Now the real question; what would Dallas have to sacrifice to make this a reality?
Using the standard draft value chart, the Cowboys' current 1st-round pick at 24th overall would have to be packaged with their 2nd-round pick to move up around the 14-15th picks. They could get to the 18th-19th picks if they give up their 3rd-round pick instead.
Of course, other packages could be created using picks from the later rounds or future drafts. Dallas does have four 5th-round picks in 2023 but their trade value isn't much when we're talking about moving around on Thursday night.
While adding another talented pass rusher is never a bad idea, would this really be Dallas' best use of resources? They have arguably bigger concerns at left guard, wide receiver, linebacker, and perhaps even the interior defensive line.
Losing Gregory last month was a disappointment but a somewhat overrated one. The combination of Armstrong and Fowler has potential to replicate most of his production, though certainly not the play-making potential that Randy's superior athleticism presented on any given play.
Swinging for the fences with a trade-up would feel somewhat inconsistent to how the Cowboys have approached the 2022 offseason. After the conservatism they've shown in free agency, a dramatic move at a position of less dire need would feel erratic.
That said, over three decades of the Jones' management of the Dallas Cowboys has come with plenty of surprises. Kayvon Thibodeaux sliding in this draft would be one, and this team moving up to get him would be an even bigger shock.