Dallas Cowboys: Picking in No-Man’s Land

The Dallas Cowboys are picking in an odd spot in the draft, some call it no-man’s land, others consider it a black hole.

Leave it up to Jason Garrett to score a moral victory that ends up hurting the Dallas Cowboys on his way out the door. Sure, the Cowboys had a small chance at the playoffs, but with the Eagles winning themselves, the Cowboys dropped to pick seventeen in the NFL draft. It is a little bit of a strange and hard place to pick, and moving up or down would have probably been better. They can still trade to do either.

At pick seventeen you need someone to drop to find value in the pick. Right about this area in the draft the top players are gone, and teams will start reaching a little for players. This area of the draft is where you could see a stack of offensive linemen and running backs as your best players on the board, and another need like defensive tackle, safety, or wide receiver may be a small reach.

What the hope is that someone drops either to your pick, or at least within striking distance where you don’t have to give up a ton to get them. But as we have seen in years past, the draft is unpredictable and you still have to find a trade partner either way. There could be more value in picking in the early 20s than there is staying at 17.

Teams could be looking to move up if a quarterback happens to drop and a team went a different way in the top 10 and are willing to jump back up and get a guy that won’t make it to the second round. Also, it gives a team an extra year under their rookie contract. So in this case, let’s say Tua drops and Miami didn’t go quarterback five, they could jump back into the first with their stash of picks.

The other hope is that someone falls. If someone like Javon Kinlaw hits fifteen, then the Cowboys could decide to jump up and grab him, without giving up a lot of valuable draft picks. The difficult thing is picking at 17, you just don’t know how it will actually fall. Sure, they could just go with best player, but what if that is an offensive tackle or a quarterback? Now you may not see a guy you like at 17.

Most teams don’t have a lot of actual “first round grades” on players. They may see only twelve players are deemed first rounders, but since there are thirty-two teams they know some of the “second round grades” will be picked in the first. To put it into an easier statement, in another year, that player may not be a first round pick based on position group, but this year they may be.

That leaves picking in the middle of the draft a hard place. You may not have the value you want at 17 unless someone drops, but you may also not want to reach for someone if the value of the pick isn’t there. It really is a science.

Next: Dallas Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft: Gambling on High-Ceiling Projects

So as the draft gets closer, the Cowboys will be weighing their options at seventeen. They could trade up, down, or try to find something they like right where they are. We will hear the Cowboys are interested in X player or Y player, some of it may be smokescreens, some may be truth, some may never have a chance to make it to 17. But here we are, in no-man’s land.

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