October 27, 2012; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Kony Ealy (47) and Missouri Tigers defensive back E.J. Gaines (31) celebrate after scoring a touchdown on a fumble during the fourth quarter at Faurot Field. The Missouri Tigers defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 33-10. Mandatory Credit: Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys Trade Down, Get Three More Picks


With the NFL Draft a mere month away (May 8-10), NFL Mock Drafts are at an all-time high. And for the Dallas Cowboys, this draft is particularly important since they suffered some big losses this offseason. In 2014, the Cowboys will be without Pro Bowl and starting defensive lineman DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, and Jason Hatcher. Combine those moves with the fact the Dallas sported the worst defense in the NFL last year, and the thought of going into the regular season without them is terrifying.

Although the Cowboys did sign free agent defensive tackle Henry Melton recently, the rest of their free agency signings have been lackluster as the team has been limited due to their lack of salary cap space. And the front office picked one heck of a time to finally start acting prudent financially. Therefore, the onus is now on the upcoming draft for Dallas to rebuild this debacle of a defense.

And one  of the best ways to insure a successful draft is to hedge your bets by getting more picks. And that’s exactly what the Cowboys decide to do in NFL Mocks lasted mock draft. In this proposed scenario, Dallas would trade their 16th overall pick to the Green Bay Packers in-exchange for the 21st, 85th, and 161st picks in the draft. So the Cowboys would essentially move down just five spots in the first round and get a much needed extra third and fifth round pick.

This would also put them in prime position to fill a big need on their depleted defensive line. Here’s what NFL Mock’s Sayre Bedinger predicts Dallas would do with their new first round pick:

“The Cowboys traded down in this mock draft, and still end up getting one of the best defensive end prospects in a draft that has plenty. (Missouri defensive end Kony) Ealy is a big prospect who would step into the slot left empty by Cowboys legend DeMarcus Ware, now a Denver Bronco. This is a dynamic athlete who, when all is said and done, could go much higher than this.”

At #16, Ealy is a bit of a stretch. He makes a little more sense at #21. On top of that, Dallas could use the extra picks to fill their various other team needs. But ESPN’s Draft Guru Mel Kiper Jr. actually ranks Ealy as the third best defensive lineman in this draft, behind South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney and Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt. In fact, Kony falls to the third round in Kiper’s latest mock draft.

But Landon Haaf over at WFAA Sports thinks the lack of talent at the defensive end position in this draft might force Dallas’ hand:

“It’s a thin draft at the defensive end position, and the Cowboys need one. Before Ware’s departure, I would’ve said that interior line or safety should be much higher priorities, but now the defensive end position would be more justifiable in the first round. Ealy won’t be the top prospect on the board at no. 16, but he will likely be the top pass rusher to fill Ware’s shoes. So seeing Ealy put on a Dallas Cowboys cap on draft day shouldn’t surprise anyone.”

Regardless, it appears most experts agree the Ealy is a project that will need some time to develop. I’m not sure if he’ll find that time in Dallas as a first round pick that’s expected to contribute immediately. Still, this is a trade I think most Cowboys fans would be “fans” of…even if Ealy isn’t the right pick.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Dallas Cowboys Kony Ealy Mel Kiper Jr. NFL Mocks

  • Old Frog

    Please, no projects in the early rounds.

  • David

    Kony is even a stretch at 21. While it is nice to land the extra 3rd pick, I would rather see them stay at 16 if the top two safeties are there. The DE position is not tier 1 heavy but they certainly get great value in the 2nd round with a Crichton, Tuitt, Murphy or even a Ford if he slips down. I would rather see them go OT than reach for Kony. They could always package some of their 7th round picks for a 5th or even a 6th which they do not have. With six 7th round picks it is unlikely all of thos picks would make the roster and I could see them trading the three non comp picks.

    • PaulTX

      We can throw Scandrick in there and run a Cover 1. That way we don’t need another Safety.

      • David

        ????? So they just stay with the horrible safeties they have and play cover 1 all season??????

        • PaulTX

          You don’t like Church?

          • David

            Not in coverage or his range to be a playmaker.

          • PaulTX

            Ya, I guess for a Cover 1, your Safety has to be outstanding in coverage.

          • David

            Yes and thats not a coverage any team can stay in all game long let alone all year long.

          • PaulTX

            Well, Cover 2 isn’t going to work either if we don’t draft the right pieces.

          • David

            No but their are circumstances in games like 3rd and 15 plus yards or in prevent defense when the team has the lead they will drop into a deep half cover 2. Dallas safeties got abused in coverage last year and also got abused helping the corners over the top.

  • Keith Ranson

    Total Bullshit! We Need To Trade Some Of Those Extra Late Round Picks,And Get A Second 1st,Or 2nd Rounder; We Need A DE, And A Safety First; Forget That ‘Trading Down’ Crap!

  • Ed

    For all of y’all calling for the Cowboys to use a first round pick on a safety, get over it. Last year was the year to pick up a top notch safety and they didn’t do it. None of the top safety picks this year are a significant improvement over the guys already on the roster…and that’s saying a lot because the guys on the roster aren’t probowl material. If the front office didn’t think a guy with Eric Reid’s size and speed wasn’t worth first round money, why would they pay that to a smaller slower Clinton-Dix? You either take Donald if he’s still there or trade down. Period.

    • Scott.

      Agree, they’ve invested some mid round picks on Wilcox and Johnson…they’re not giving up on Wilcox who only played a year or so at the safety position coming out of college. They feel that he has the tool to coach him up…

    • David

      You do realize both Dix and Pryor are rated by most as top 20 players overall. And both Pryor and Dix would be an upgrade over every safety Dallas has including Church because of his limited range which was obvious this year.

      • Ed

        Indeed they are rated as top 20 this year, but this is not a deep draft for safeties and that rating cannot possibly be held by the Cowboys front office. It doesn’t matter if ESPN, SI, Foxsports or any other media outlet give Dix and Pryor first round grades. Logically speaking, given last year’s pass on a guy like Eric Reid who completely wowed at LSU’s pro day, there’s no reason to think the Cowboys will invest a first round pick this year on a safety. Furthermore, Dix’s and Pryor’s metrics do not support the use of a first round pick by the Cowboys given comparable or better performance metrics from the guys already on the roster.

        I’ve said it before…I’ll say it again. Last year was the year to pick up a safety and they came away with a converted WR that they really like. So don’t expect them to drop another pick on a safety this year, especially not in the first two rounds.

        • David

          LOL they do not rate players on how deep the class is. They rate the players compared to other players on skill. I dont know where you get that logic from. And the Cowboys have ZERO safeties with the range to play the centerfield FS position that is an important piece to Marinelli’s Tampa system. And I love how it does not matter that any of the reputable media outlets who employs former players, scouts and GM’s as their analysts. But hey you know more than all those guys right. LOL..

          • Ed

            You fail to understand the concept of establishing relative player value and thus you miss the point. So instead I will ask you, what metrics did you rely on in determining that Clinton-Dix or Pryor would provide better value than the guys already on the roster?

          • David

            Well you are not making a very good point so no I dont see it. And the matrix I use is I read about the players strentghs and weaknesses, watch their film and again see where the most repsected analysts have them on their “Big’ overall boards. Dallas has numerous needs on defense and offense. The safeties including the FS has been a huge need for years. There are two top safeties in this draft. The other huge need on defense is at DE. After Clowney the drop off to the next tier is quite big. Kony and any other DE would be a reach at 16. You could also argue another need for the Cowboys is at LB and if Mosely was there at 16 they would need to take a long look at him as well. If Zach Martin is there at 16 he would be a possibility as well. But I dont care how good the D-line plays if the safeties are bad to average like they are now they wont go far in the playoffs. None of the Dallas safeties on the roster have shown any range or been any help to the corners.

          • Ed

            Let me clarify a bit then. The metrics on Clinton-Dix and Pryor–chiefly height, weight, wing span, vertical leap, shuttle time and 40 speed–are not significantly better than the marks posted by Heath, Wilcox,Hamilton and Johnson. That said, it’s reasonable that the front office will not use a first round pick to pick up either of those two safeties. Add to that the fact that there are more pressing needs. I would venture to say the Cowboys will draft a WR before they even think of taking a safety.

            Yes, they need a FS. Everyone other than those within the organization agrees with that. But clearly they aren’t going to go that route. They like the potential from Wilcox, Johnson and Hamilton and at some point you have to stop drafting to fill the same need and let the guys you’ve already drafted play.

          • David

            Ed so basically just because they run as fast and have similar wing spans etc… that they are equal or similar players????? If thats the case then why were Wilcox and Johnson mid round picks and Heath and Hamilton not even drafted??? And there is almost nothing more pressing than FS. Did you not see the safeties out of position constantly and unable to cover anyone??? The FS position has 1 pick in the last two years. And how do you know the organization is not blowing smoke up everyones assess by saying they are good as safety? Lets put it another way. If Seattle had the Cowboys safeties in the SB they lose.

          • Ed

            I didn’t say they are similar players. I said the metrics don’t support the use of a first round pick on either of the top two safeties this year. St. Louis has the luxury of having two first round picks so they likely can afford to gamble on Clinton-Dix. The Cowboys don’t have that luxury and have holes in other places that they must address. If safety was the only area of weakness then I would agree that using a first rounder is justified albeit to attain lesser player value. Given the level of talent on the board in other areas you’d be hard pressed to make a case for the Cowboys making safety their first selection.

          • David

            How can you say the metrix does not supprot the use of a 1st round pick on a FS. So you dont accound play on the field in your metrix. Thats insane. Look for Marinelli’s system to be effective there are 6 key positions that have to have stud players at. Those positions are 3 tech, WDE, Cover corner, Will and Mike and FS. They just signed Melton to play the 3 tech. They have invested a lot of money and high draft pick in the corner so that probably wont be a 1st round pick. They have a Mike in Lee so doubful they go there unless they take Mosley and move him to the Will or Sam. They could take Barr if he fell to them and he could either play the Sam or put on weight and play DE. That leaves the FS spot. If they go DE the value is not there at 16 to take one howver there would be good value of a bunch of guys that should be around in the 2nd round when they pick. So they should go with a group of Barr, Dix, Pryor, Mosely, Martin or Lewan. If they go in any other direction than that I think it would be a huge mistake.

          • Ed

            How about we just agree to disagree and meet back here in a month to share opinions on what will undoubtedly be another blunder filled Cowboys draft.

          • David

            Sounds good. Lets just hope they dont F it up….

      • smashmouthfootball

        I disagree here with u, of course just my personal opinion. But, both these safeties are basically SSs and we don’t need that right now. What Cowboys need is a rangey, ballhawking speedster. Yeah, Matt Johnson seems to get hurt often, but he will be Cowboys starting SS or FS…the latter is a rumor.

    • smashmouthfootball

      Definitely agree with that/ur opinion!! You might agree here, but despite this article, I’m thinking DT, as in Ra’Shede Hageman and then, DE. According to this article, I’m thinking Walt is there, although I haven’t scouting to him to really say, for sure, if we should even take a swipe at him…

      • smashmouthfootball

        Umm…my bad, I meant, “might not agree here…” — oops

        • David

          They do not need to draft a 1 tech in the 1st round. That is why they passed on Floyd. They might as well go O-line or WR if they are not going to go safety or trade back. Hopefuly Barr will fall to them and make it a moot point..

  • joe g

    i really hope that the cowboys draft primarily defensive line…and some offensive line…I agree that safety has been a weakness but i am not so sure it wasn’t because of the damn line that was lethargic…and that was the case with almost everyone was there except when ratliff was in there…Ratliff reinforced my belief that the interior line is just if not more important than the edges…