Should the Cowboys Move Up in the Draft?
Owner Jerry Jones has already claimed that the Cowboys are going to remain at pick #27 in this year’s draft. While it is impossible to know whether he is being truthful or simply posturing, this season may actually be the appropriate time to move up in the draft and secure an impact player.
Trading up in the draft, particularly in the first round, can often be a very risky proposition. The cost of moving up from pick #27 to the 20th slot, for example, is about a mid-third round pick, as stated in the NFL Draft Value Chart. If the Cowboys give up their first and third round selections, they could move up to about pick #21. This is a lot to ask for the right to select a player who could easily drop six spots anyway. Should Dallas give up their first and second round selections, they could move up to right around the 16th pick.
So why would we support trading up when it is so costly? The answer is a numbers game. While risky, the abundance of quality depth and the multitude of second-year players currently on the roster makes moving up a sensible idea this season. Realistically, how many rookies can possibly make the squad this season? Five? Four? Second-year players who got injured last season, such as Jason Williams, Brandon Williams, Stephen Hodge, Robert Brewster, and Michael Hamlin are near-locks to make the team. With only two unrestricted free agents (Montrae Holland and Cory Procter), there are a lack of truly available roster spots.
Thus, the Cowboys should identify the player they covet most, package a few picks, and go get him. Whether it is Alabama’s ILB Rolando Mcclain or a tackle of the future, such as Rutgers’ Anthony Davis, the draft philosophy of the team this year should be emphasizing quality over quantity. The Cowboys are not at all far away from Super Bowl contention, and with a few minor tweaks, the team could be hosting the game for themselves in early 2011. While we are not advocating giving up the farm and sacrificing the entire draft, the Cowboys certainly could put their 2010 squad over the top by unleashing a few picks to guarantee that they secure a coveted playmaker.