Trading Up For Dez Bryant and Sean Lee: A Numbers Game
Posted by Justin Shoemaker
A few weeks ago, I mentioned how the Cowboys should trade up in the first round to secure the player they coveted most (should he drop). At the time, everybody and their brother thought that player would be an offensive lineman.
As it turned out, the Cowboys did move up to get “their guy,” but it was (a bit shockingly) Dez Bryant. Still, Dallas made the correct move. According to their big board, Bryant was ranked either 11th or 12th (despite Jerry’s declarations that he was in the top 10).
Prospect rankings can be considered exponential in nature (as evidenced by the current rookie pay scale), such that the #4 overall selection can be thought of as twice as valuable as the #8 overall selection, and so on. Thus, securing your #12-ranked player in the 24th slot is equivalent to drafting a player with a third round grade in the sixth round. In short, the value is tremendous.
Bryant’s one-year layoff from the game surely contributed to his drop. He is a dynamic player with top five ability. Not only can Bryant add a new dimension to the receiver corps (which, contrary to popular opinion, was already one of the best in the NFC), but he can also bring that much-needed flare to the return game. As we noted before, his return skills made him one of the best values in the draft. The selections of Bryant and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah prove the Cowboys placed as much emphasis on upgrading the return game as we did.
Ultimately, trading up for Bryant (and Sean Lee) really showed us a lot about the Cowboys. They could have sat back and grabbed players such as Boise State CB Kyle Wilson or Penn State’s Jared Odrick (they certainly seemed to be infatuated with Penn State prospects this year) in the first round. However, when push come to shove, the Cowboys knew that the selections of Bryant and Lee not only held tremendous value, but they could also help them win right now. They didn’t waste any time pulling the trigger.
Trading up in the draft is all about obtaining value–the numbers have to work out in your favor.
Here are some of those numbers to chew on: The Cowboys had no trouble moving the football last season (2nd in total yards), but some major issues scoring (14th in points). Dez Bryant scored 29 touchdowns in 28 collegiate games.
You do the math.