Let’s look at a trade where the Cowboys traded down. In 2013, the Cowboys were panned for selecting center Travis Frederick with the 31st pick in the draft. Dallas acquired the pick along with the 74th selection used to select Terrance Williams by trading the 16th pick to San Francisco who selected safety Eric Reid.
The Jimmy Johnson chart assigns 1000 points for the 16th overall selection and 820 points for the 31st (600) and 74th (220) picks. The Cowboys did not recover enough draft capital in this trade according to the consensus trade chart.
The AV for these draft slots tells a different story. The 16th pick has an expected 24.46 value and the 31st and 74th picks have 18.35 and 12.99 for a total of 31.34. The actual comparison between Reid, Frederick, and Williams shows the Cowboys fleeced the 49ers as Williams alone scored 25 points to Reid’s 24 while Frederick posted 41 points.
These two examples show that teams that trade down generally get more value than the teams that trade up as a perceived premium is placed on higher draft picks. For this reason, I am advocating that Dallas trade down from the 17th overall selection.
With significant resources invested in quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper, running back Ezekiel Elliott, offensive linemen Tyron Smith and Zack Martin, and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, the Cowboys need to find more complementary pieces and not more stars. The chances of finding the right players increase by employing another Jimmy Johnson draft trick – acquiring more draft picks.
So let’s consider a hypothetical trade. Kansas City owns the 32nd choice. Dallas would trade the 17th pick for the 32nd, 63rd, and 138th picks. Dallas would recover 903 points for their 950 points. The AV for the 17th pick is 23.81 and the AV for the three Kansas City picks is 18.19, 14.09, and 7.46.
Then I would trade the 32nd pick to Green Bay for the 62nd, 94th, 175th and the Packers 2021 third round pick. The Jimmy Johnson value for this deal gives the Packers 590 points for 428 this year and 120 points in 2021. The AV would be about 41 to the Cowboys and only 18 to the Packers.
If Dallas drafts well, the Cowboys would land three good players this year, one next year and two extra chances to find a diamond in the rough for one middle of the first-round draft pick. Factor in that lower draft picks have lower cap hits and this must be the direction Dallas goes. If you think this scenario is far-fetched, check out what Seattle did last year with the 21st pick in Peter King’s Factnoidness section.
So forget C.J. Henderson or K’Lavon Chaisson who are frequently mocked to Dallas and instead focus on getting more picks to fill more holes. The perfect Cowboys draft for me will have five picks in the top 100.