The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

Why Cowboys Trading Up To 49ers 13th Pick Would Be Mistake

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Matt Maiocco of the Press Democrat just reported that the Cowboys are interested in trading up to the San Francisco 49ers’ 13th overall selection to draft Texas safety Earl Thomas–a player we have rated No. 5 overall on our Big Board.  This information should be taken with a grain of salt, as Maiocco is perhaps not a completely unbiased observer and no other similar claims have been made.

Nonetheless, we wanted to take a look at the possibility of this trade and how it would affect the Cowboys.  According to the NFL’s Draft Trade Value Chart, Dallas would have to surrender its first, second, and third round selections to move up to the 49ers’ 13th pick. Is Thomas really worth that much?

Looking at it another way, imagine the players the Cowboys could acquire with those picks.  USF safety Nate Allen, UMass guard/tackle Vladimir Ducasse, and Texas wide receiver Jordan Shipley are all realistic options for Dallas in the first, second, and third round, respectively.  Would you rather have Thomas alone, or Allen, Ducasse, and Shipley?  We know what we’d prefer.

Of course, the Cowboys could yield a player as part of the deal. Defensive end Marcus Spears, who is reportedly on the trading block, might interest the 49ers since they run a 3-4 defense.  However, it is unlikely Spears is worth more than about a third round pick due to his restricted free agent status.

Whether the deal includes the Cowboys’ first, second, and third or first, second, and Spears, the value is simply not apparent. Yes, Thomas is an impact player and one Dallas would love to acquire, but he is not worth the top half of the team’s draft.

There are other more likely scenarios that could get Thomas in a Cowboys uniform, however.  If the 49ers are interested in trading with Dallas, their 17th overall pick is likely up for grabs as well. According to the chart, trading up to the Niners’ second pick in the first round would cost the Cowboys less than their first and second-rounders.  Their first, third, and fourth round picks might do the job.

Is Thomas worth a first, a third, and a fourth?  Maybe, maybe not–but we are getting closer.  If San Fran does have interest in Spears, perhaps the Cowboys could substitute him for their third-rounder.  Now the deal would cost the ‘Boys just their fourth round selection and a player who will likely be on another team in 2011 whether he is traded this season or not.

Ultimately, we cannot see the Cowboys trading up to the 13th overall selection.  The price of admission is simply too great.  If Earl Thomas happens to fall to the 49ers 17th pick, however, a deal becomes a lot more likely.  If Dallas could score that pick for their first, fourth, and Marcus Spears, we say go for it.

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17 Responses to Why Cowboys Trading Up To 49ers 13th Pick Would Be Mistake

  1. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    Earl Thomas will not get past the 14th pick. Seattle has the 15th and they would probably select him there. If they don’t, he most certainly would be the BAP when Tenn picks at 16.

    I do think Thomas is worth a 1st, Spears and Crayton. That would allow us to pick BAP in the 2nd round (Ducasse, McCluster, Ghee, Lee), pick up Spikes or Bowman or Capers or Arenas in the 3rd and so on…

    I dont’ know if SF would take Crayton but I would certainly offer him as well as Carpenter.

  2. I would definitely do a 1st, Crayton, and Spears for Thomas, but I don’t think any team would actually accept that. SF has Morgan and Crabtree and just traded for Ginn.

  3. Omar says:

    Solid stuff, if for a cool view of the Cowboys war room, check this out: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/feature/flash/_/id/5113077/inside-draft-room

    Worth the insider subscription for a month.

  4. Omar,
    That is some good stuff. I didn’t catch that before. I’m actually going to put that in our next post. Thanks a lot.

  5. Omar says:

    As much as the folks up in Bristol annoy me with their facile (for the most part) analysis, and how ever much they try to make baseball absolutely unwatchable with pairing announcing crews that try to out do each other in painfully unfunny anecdote contests (to the point where I hope Sutcliffe’s ass cancer comes back), their insane access and resources allow them to throw out some A+ content…the Mel Kiper mock draft experience is pretty cool too:

    http://insider.espn.go.com/insider/kiper/mockdraft

    I do however, LOVE Keith Law, Rob Neyer, and Todd McShay along with the rest of the Scouts Inc guys…Mel Kiper is also entertaining too.

  6. Yeah ESPN can become very gossipy at times (Ed Werder, Sal Pal), but they do have some good stuff as well. I prefer Mayock over all of their draft analysts though.

  7. Omar says:

    Mayock’s board is very….different. He’s not unintelligent, far from it…he just has had some “different” takes on draft prospects. I still don’t get the McCoy over Suh love…McCoy may be a slightly better passrusher, if at all, but Suh’s miles better against the run. The Kiper mock draft experience is cool, because it lets you do some tinkering, and see what happens if a certain scenario happens…I personally chose Bruce Campbell to the Raiders at pick number eight, and that DRASTICALLY changes the rest of the board. Also, Kiper gets more inside dope than anyone, he’s been around since like forever.

  8. Yeah Mayock does have some “different” rankings but a lot of the time he is the first person to make the alterations. He was the first analyst by far to have a first round grade on Kyle Wilson, the first to give Trent Williams to Washington (actually I was the first that I know of, but I don’t have the stardom of Mayock), and so on. I am about to put up our live blog page.

  9. Omar says:

    Yeah…don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s good to be out on the edge, but looking at his “big board” there’s too much that I just disagree with…I look at sports from a value perspective. I really don’t see CJ Spiller being the fifth most valuable player from this year’s draft, amongst other issues.

  10. Then you definitely don’t agree with our big board…we have him at at No. 4 haha

  11. Omar says:

    He is a ***RUNNING BACK*** they are by nature, fungible. Now I know as Cowboys fans we saw Emmitt Smith leave his fist in the ass of NFL defenses for the better part of two decades, that’s not the usual case. Troy Hambricks and Julius Joneses are much more common…he doesn’t have elite speed for his size, and I usually hate taking running backs in the first round unless you’re getting an LT or an AP. They break down quickly due to all the wear and tear, HELLO MARION BARBER!!!!! Or, sometimes, they are the complete product of their offensive line (Willie Parker when he was “good”), there’s also the Larry Johnson scenario where you can break even the greats out in one season. Too dependent on the help of the rest of the team, and his role isn’t like that of a Quarterback where his impact is as great. Furthermore, the league is getting to be a two, and perhaps soon with all these juiced monsters of the defensive side of the ball even a three back league, even AP has a solid back up to split the load with…and LT played in a easier time for RBs but eight years of being an everydown back took its toll on even him. Simply put, slotting running backs that high just isn’t a smart thing to do. Yes, there’s exceptions, but those are extremely rare…while Spiller is ultra talented, I don’t see him being that exception.

    For me, an honest big board in terms of “best draft picks” meaning, high likelihood of success, high upside, and playing a high value position for me would be:

    Suh
    Berry
    McCoy
    Derrek Morgan
    Russell Okung

    Suh is an absolute beast, he can do it all…tremendous player, if you watched the Big XII Championship you know what I’m talking about. Berry’s another really talented player, looked a bit off on film but if you watched what they had him doing it was pretty complex stuff and somewhat atypical for a junior defensive back to handle, yet he still played pretty well. Everyone loves McCoy’s pass rush technique, but he’s still a bit weak in run coverage. Morgan is a great defensive end, in the mold of a Justin Tuck/Trent Cole type…not only an excellent pass rusher but also can cover the run too. While Okung has questions about what his ultimate upside is, he’s a pretty safe pick…he’s not an Orlando Pace, Jon Ogden, Walter Jones…or in today’s NFL a Joe Thomas type, but he’s pretty good. No real complaints.

    I would put Bradford and maybe Claussen (read the ESPN piece on his delivery) in there because he has it all: intangibles, pocket awareness, accuracy, arm strength, etc. However, junior QBs don’t have the best track record, but the only recent one that’s been successful (Roethlisberger) was accurate compared to the scores of inaccurate junior QBs that came before him.

  12. Martin says:

    Completely agree. What would happen if Dallas did trade up, and then Thomas turned out to be a bust? Their whole draft, would essentially be ruined. Not worth the risk. Not by a long way.

  13. You look at Spiller and see a replaceable RB. I look and see Chris Johnson 2.0. CJ was (not so arguably, IMO) the NFL’s best player last year, by far. Spiller has that ability. Only time will tell, but the nature of the game is changing (as you pointed out) and Spiller is now capable of being a “lead” back (if there is such a thing) just as CJ is in Tenn.

  14. Yup. What about if Thomas drops to 17? Do you like my last scenario–1st, 4th, and Spears? I would pull the trigger on that.

  15. john coleman says:

    Nothing against Thomas, but no way I would give up the whole draft for a DB. Watch and see Thomas will not live up to the hype. NFL receivers will eat his lunch. The more I see of the upper half of the 1st round the less I like it.

  16. Yeah I just cannot see this report being true. Thomas is a player I could see Dallas moving up for, but not nearly as far as 13. Like I said, 17 is the floor in my opinion.

  17. Omar says:

    The NFL’s best player? Please…the Titans have a great line, and he had some great blocking ahead of him, and they rode him like a cheap hooker. He’s good no doubt, but lets let him have another good year or two…don’t want a Larry Johnson situation for him. Second, CJ Spiller is NOT Chris Johnson, Johnson’s bigger (by about five pounds, but that makes a different when you get hit by someone going that fast) not to mention Johnson ran a 4.24 (fastest ever, although Deion ran a 4.2 something in Timberlands and sweat pants) whereas Spiller’s was 4.37…Spiller just simply isn’t in Johnson’s league in terms of speed. That’s a huge difference in terms of 40 times…so basically Spiller’s a slower and smaller version of Chris Johnson (who will probably get bitch slapped with regression next year). Furthermore Johnson the best player last year? Not even close for me, I’d go:

    Rivers
    Manning
    Brees
    Joe Thomas
    Brady
    Asomugha
    Patrick Willis
    Matt Birk
    Reed
    Tuck

    For best players in the league last year. Most of Johnson’s value came because he had 358 carries, a lot for a guy his size, on a rate basis he was the seventh best running back in football last year (according to DVOA), and while he lead all running backs in DYAR he only racked up 343, whereas the leading QB racked up over 2000. It’s a passing game, running backs are like pawns…once they get used up and get kicked to the curb for a younger guy so that he can get the dogpiss beaten out of him by these NFL defenses. Lets see how Chris Johnson’s body reacts to getting broken, beat, and scared by these NFL defenses.

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