Should The Dallas Cowboys Trade Up In The Draft?


Sep 7, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy (76) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys hold the 27th pick in the draft and depending on who you talk too or believe, the Cowboys will select a DB with the pick or a DL, depending on who is available. The Cowboys are in need of a RB, DL, DE, DB and a probably a water boy, too. With the defense needing so much help and only producing 28 sacks last year, the obvious choice should be DE.

Well Roger Goodell has made this choice a lot easier for the Cowboys because he handed Greg Hardy a 10 game suspension. Hardy won’t suit up for the Cowboys until Thanksgiving Day against, you guessed it, the Carolina Panthers. Talk about a blow to your team’s defense. Talk about having a “Plan B!”

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There is nothing better in life than motivation. Roger Goodell has motivated the Cowboys to make a decision about a pass rusher. Because now it’s a top priority.

With the suspension of Hardy in place and the defense still having plenty of issues, the question is should the Cowboys trade up for an elite defensive player? Or should they stand pat?

I’ve mentioned it many times before that the Cowboys need a pass rusher first and foremost to help out its defense and its mediocre secondary. Although Demarcus Lawrence showed great promise towards the end of the year, especially against the Detroit Lions in the playoffs, he is still a work in progress.  And George Selvie and Anthony Spencer have moved on to other teams. Basically, that leaves Lawrence as the primary pass rusher.

Nothing against Jeremy Mincey but six sacks doesn’t scare anyone.

Several draft experts have said that Hardy’s suspension hasn’t changed the Cowboys draft plans because the Cowboys knew Hardy would have a lengthy suspension. But it matters more now because he’s suspended 10 long games. Not 10 Preseason games. If the Cowboys want to make a run to the Super Bowl, shouldn’t trading up at least be a consideration?

There are several DE’s in the upcoming draft the Cowboys could trade up for. Or will and deal some magic on draft day. But there are a few game changers in this year’s draft.

Vic Beasley of Clemson, Randy Gregory of Nebraska, Shane Ray of Missouri, and Owa Odighizuwa of UCLA are a few of the main headliners. Then there are others that could be sleepers and fall into the Cowboys lap at 27.

Like Nate Orchard of Utah, Cedric Reed of Texas, Dante Fowler of Florida,  Alvin Dupree of Kentucky, Arik Armstead of Oregon, Eli Harold of Virginia and Preston Smith of Mississippi State.

Although Beasley, Gregory, and Ray are ultra talented, Odighizuwa fits the Cowboys scheme because he’s a 4-3 strong-side DE with good size. Standing 6’3, 267 pounds with a 39 inch vertical and 4.62 second, 40-yard dash, Odighizuwa doesn’t stop until the whistle blows. That’s definitely a trait Rod Marinelli loves.

Orchard has a high motor, too. He might be the real sleeper of the draft. Orchard plays relentless and tied with 19 sacks in all of FBS college football last season.

Like I said before, these two players might fall to the Cowboys at 27 or at 60 in the second round because they are sleepers. Who knows because the draft has a mind of its own. But what about the other elite rushers?

Do the Cowboys move up? And I’m not saying the Cowboys should mortgage their future to get into the top 10. That would be ludicrous.

I’ve read where football experts says that rookie pass rushers don’t do well in their first season and they average only a few sacks. That they struggle for other reasons. Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah! NFL experts and analysts can be rigid and antiquated in their thinking.

Well in 1985, San Fransico 49ers coach Bill Walsh wanted a dynamic WR to build his offense around. The 49ers held the 28th pick that year, similar to the Cowboys. And Walsh really wanted this player, although the player was from a small school in the SWAC conference who ran a slow a 4.7 second, 40-yard dash. 

But Walsh loved his speed after the catch. Scouts thought Walsh was crazy, too. But Walsh traded up to the 16th spot to grab that dynamic WR.

That dynamic WR was Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.

I know Rice was an offensive player who became one of the best to ever play the game. But the point is sometimes teams have to have the foresight and fortitude to think outside of the box and take a chance. Because you never know.

It worked for Walsh and the 49ers because he didn’t go with conventional wisdom when one of his scouts said Rice was a sixth rounder at best.

Maybe it will  work for the Cowboys, too.

After all, its just a thought.

And that’s where it begins.

Next: Too Many What If's For The Dallas Cowboys