Dallas Cowboys: Trading their draft pick (up, down, or Jamal Adams)

Jamal Adams #33 win over the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Jamal Adams #33 win over the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

Between acquiring Jamal Adams, moving up in the draft, or dropping down, the Dallas Cowboys seemingly have a ton of options with their top pick in the NFL Draft

The NFL Draft starts today and what the Dallas Cowboys opt to do with their top pick will go a long way in setting their path into the future. Will they stand fast and take what falls to them or will they take their fate in their own hands and cash that first round pick in?

That’s what we intend to discuss today…

Trading the pick for Jamal Adams

Jamal Adams has always been an object of the Dallas Cowboys’ affection. Last season Dallas and the New York Jets held discussions regarding the Dallas Native coming home. Those didn’t get very far because the asking price was considerably more than the Cowboys were willing to spend.

Six months later, not much has changed. Dallas is still interested. New York is still asking for too much. An established NFL player is never less valuable than he is on this one day of the NFL year. That’s because draft picks are at a premium.  To GMs, this is the day those two birds in the bush look better than the one in their hand. If the Jets are going to budge, this is the day they do so.

Jerry didn’t sound very optimistic about pulling off a trade for someone like Adams. Now part of that is posturing for a negotiation and part of that is just good old fashioned realism. I mean, how many trades of this magnitude actually ever go down?

Trading up in the first round

The last time the Dallas Cowboys traded up in the first round they were in a strikingly similar situation. It was 2012 and the Cowboys desperately needed to rebuild their cornerback corps. They just signed Brandon Carr in free agency and then traded away their 14th overall pick and their second round pick to draft Morris Claiborne.

Here in 2020 they also need to rebuild their CB corps. Could they move up to secure a top-2 CB in the draft? It’s highly unlikely but certainly possible. Earlier in the offseason I detailed what it would take. C.J. Henderson may not be worth the price of doing business but if Jeff Okudah somehow falls to pick 8, the Cowboys would be wise to consider the option.

Related Story. Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft: Trading up an All-Pro. light

But the reality is the cost of moving up is too dang high if it’s not for a franchise –changing QB. If Dallas does make a move, it’s probably only two spots to leapfrog Atlanta, and even then that’s a longshot.

Trading down in the first round

“Team Trade Down, unite!”  I’ve been on this bandwagon for quite a while now. The Dallas Cowboys have far too many needs and not enough ammunition to work with. Trading down nets them an extra top-100 pick (which typically have a decent chance at one day being starters).

Given the position the Dallas Cowboys are in (17), there’s a good chance all the first round graded players will be gone (there are roughly 16 of them this year). Trading down makes sense because the difference between CB3 and CB8 is minimal, difference between WR4 and WR8 is minimal, difference between DT3 and DT6 is minimal, difference between SAF1 and SAF2 is minimal, and the difference between EDGE3-EDGE6 is minimal. If the delta is so small, why not drop back and collect an extra pick along the way?


As the saying goes, “it takes two to tango” and unless there’s a specific player teams are clamoring for on the board at 17, getting someone to bite on a trade is going to be hard. QB4 and WR4 are the best bets to spark competition because there are a handful of teams behind Dallas eager to get to the front of the line. How eager remains to be seen.

With all of that said, trading down is not only the best possible option, but it’s also the most likely. If C.J. Henderson and K’Lavon Chaisson are off the board, Dallas will entertain offers (probably even if Jerry Jeudy is there, sadly). If they can’t get decent compensation, they will sit tight and make their pick with the best available.

Contrary to popular belief, the Dallas Cowboys are not known for draft day trades in the first round. The current situation of drafting with a disconnected front offices only makes things more difficult. Especially since draft decisions in Dallas are handled more by a committee than a single shot-caller.

Next. Dallas Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft: Trading out of the 1st Round. dark

Smart money says Dallas sits tight and picks at 17, but I believe there is a willingness to trade back if the team can just get somewhere close to appropriate value in return.

  • Published on 04/23/2020 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 04/23/2020 at 12:55 PM