The 2021 NFL Draft is set to kickoff next Thursday evening, and the Dallas Cowboys are a subject of draft rumors.
With five quarterbacks expected to go within the first half of the first-round, there is some speculation that the Dallas Cowboys could trade out of its 10th overall selection. Quarterback-hungry teams such as the Patriots, Washington Football Team, and Bears are candidates to want to trade up with Dallas.
Dallas already holds 10 selections in this year’s draft, the second most of any team in the league. Therefore, it is not like the Cowboys are in need of many more selections. Besides, 10 rookies are not going to make the roster anyways.
That said, adding more picks will give the Cowboys more opportunities to hit on prospects. The draft is always a crapshoot, and it is difficult to predict which prospects will succeed and which prospects will fail in the NFL. The more opportunities to draft, the better chance that the Dallas Cowboys hit on their draft picks.
THE ARGUMENT FOR COWBOYS TRADING BACK
As mentioned above, the more picks, the better when trying to hit on draft picks. The more draft capital you have, the more darts that you have to throw, so to speak. Dallas does hold 10 selections next week, but you can never have too many picks.
If a team such as the Patriots, Football Team, or Bears are willing to move up for a quarterback that falls later than expected, there could be a chance that Dallas could pick up two top-50 picks.
Take Mel Kiper’s mock draft, for example. Kiper has the Cowboys trading down from 10 with the Patriots. In the hypothetical trade, Dallas adds the 15th overall pick and a 2022 first-rounder from New England. Kiper sees the Patriots moving up for Justin Fields.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, come away with South Carolina corner Jaycee Horn at number 15. Horn is a player that should receive serious consideration at 10th overall if the Cowboys stay put. That would obviously be a dream scenario for Dallas.
Dallas could theoretically move back from 10, pick up a couple draft picks — including possibly a future first — and still draft a player that they would consider at 10.
ARGUMENT AGAINST COWBOYS TRADING DOWN
On the flip side, history is not on the Cowboys’ side in adding a future first-round draft pick in a trade down from 10th overall. RJ Ochoa of Blogging The Boys recently outlined what the Cowboys could pick up in a trade down from 10, looking at trades that have went down in recent years:
Far be it from me to be a downer, but this doesn’t exactly seem conceivable given recent draft trades. The 10th overall pick has actually been dealt on draft day in three of the previous six years, twice for quarterbacks like this hypothetical outlines, and only one time saw the team moving backwards pick up a future first-rounder.
As Ochoa pointed out, a couple of those deals were made by a team wanting to move up for a QB: the Bills and Cardinals in 2018 for Josh Allen and Josh Rosen, respectively. Neither move resulted in the team trading back — Buccaneers and Raiders — adding an additional first-rounder.
Each draft is different, though. As are general managers. Bill Belichick does not seem to be someone that is desperate, but perhaps Justin Fields falling would be enough for the Patriots — or another team — to part ways with a 2022 first-round draft pick. After all, nobody cares what you give up if you are able to find a franchise signal caller.
DALLAS COULD MISS OUT ON A TOP PROSPECT
Furthermore, another argument against trading down is the possibility of missing out on a player highly graded on the Dallas Cowboys’ board. Moving too far down — say to 19 to Washington, 20 to the Bears, or even later — could result in the Cowboys giving up the opportunity to add a premier prospect to the roster.
It seems very unlikely that any of Horn, Patrick Surtain II, or Rashawn Slater last that late in the draft. There also is no guarantee that Greg Newsome II, Trevon Moehrig, or Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is still available by the time Dallas does get on the clock.
Perhaps acquiring a 2022 first-round draft pick is worth that risk.
There are certainly arguments for arguments to both sides. Ultimately, what players are on the board at 10 and the amount of draft capital being offered to Dallas will play a big role in a move down happening or not.
Featured image via Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports