Don’t sleep on the Dallas Cowboys using the trade market

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys have learned a few lessons the hard way this offseason: 1) Players have options and if they don’t like/trust you, they will explore said options. 2) Players that hit the market are notoriously flawed in some way (be it age, injuries, baggage, etc…) but rarely come at a discounted price. 3) Players you want to trade away are worth less than you think.

The first two options we saw unfold with Randy Gregory and the free agent defensive end class of 2022. Every one of them was on the open market for a reason (A certain level of risk), and every one of them demanded major investment in their somewhat tenuous futures.

Lesson No. 3 (the trade market) involves Amari Cooper and La’el Collins. Just two seasons ago both were elite cornerstones of the franchise. Today, despite still being good players under 30-years-old, they’re but afterthoughts to the Cowboys.

One would think these two players could garner a hefty return on the trade market. But as the Cowboys have learned firsthand, the trade market is trash. Former top-10 pick and Pro Bowler, Amari Cooper, only netted Dallas a fifth round pick. News on Collins is he’s about to be released outright.

Teams are being irrationally obsessed with draft picks and the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to attack that appraisal error.

Free agency shows us the need for proven veterans is strong and in demand, but the trade market shows us draft picks are treated like gold and arguably overvalued to an absurd degree right now. By recent estimations, a fifth round pick only has a 15% chance of being a 4-year starter in the NFL. And that’s all that Amari Cooper returned in a trade?

Same with La’el Collins. The NFL is starved for solid O-line play, yet Collins can’t get a pick in return? Teams are being irrationally obsessed with draft picks and the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to attack that market weakness.

Draft picks are overvalued making the trade market the best way for the Dallas Cowboys to improve

It’s hard to know for sure who is on the market and who is not, but you can bet Will McClay has a pretty good idea. McClay scouts NFL rosters and knows who may be expendable and undervalued.

Minnesota defensive end, Danielle Hunter, is on the market as we speak. The 27-year-old EDGE is due a $18 million roster bonus on Sunday, and Minnesota would like to pass that buck to someone else. Much like the Amari Cooper situation, he’s proven star who’s under contract for the next couple seasons. Much like Amari, Hunter could seemingly be had for a mid-round draft pick.

It doesn’t end there. Players we don’t know about all around the NFL are attainable. As I said earlier, draft picks are gold right now and teams will do just about anything to get more picks. Dallas has nine. Dallas also has a ton of holes to fill.

If the Dallas Cowboys want to get big names on their team, draft picks are their best currency. It’s the best way to fill holes at yesterday’s market prices. Does it carry risk? Sure. Hunter, for instance, has only played seven games over the past two seasons because of injuries. But he’s young, elite, and available for pretty darn fair price (draft pick + $$).

Want to maximize your buying power?

Use your draft picks on proven players because picks have never been more valuable.

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Best of all, nothing should require a top-75 pick. Draft picks are so valuable the Cowboys can use their Day -3 picks and still get starters. It’s a market inefficiency Dallas would be wise to exploit.

  • Published on 03/17/2022 at 17:12 PM
  • Last updated at 03/17/2022 at 17:45 PM