The Dallas Cowboys recently learned how much money they’ll have to spend in free agency. The front office is likely still brainstorming how to create more cap space after it restructured Dak Prescott and Zack Martin. In the meantime, the team learned how many picks it’ll have in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The league just announced this year’s compensatory pick distribution. The Cowboys almost always rank near the top of the league in comp picks and that’s no different this year, as they were awarded three after they lost Randy Gregory, Connor Williams, and Cedrick Wilson to free agency last offseason.
Dallas is tied with Arizona and Kansas City for the third-most comp picks. The 49ers were given seven picks following multiple departures from their coaching staff, and the Rams checked in second with four comp picks.
This means the Cowboys own nine selections in this year’s draft. While they could simply sit tight and use all nine picks, wouldn’t it be smarter to be proactive and move one of the acquired picks to move up in the draft?
Cowboys awarded three compensatory picks in 2023 draft.
The Cowboys once again have a pick in each round thanks to the compensatory pick formula. While the team has found great success with these picks — Hall of Famer Larry Allen, Dak Prescott, and Dalton Schultz are the most notable success stories — this roster needs high-end talent.
If trading one (or two) of these newly-acquired picks is the difference between trading up to get their guy in the second or third round — or later — or waiting for their original selection and risk losing him, then by all means send it away.
No team in the Cowboys position should need nine picks. If this was the first or second year of a rebuild, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
Dallas made nine picks in the 2022 draft, and four of them hardly contributed, including third-rounder Jalen Tolbert, fifth-rounders Matt Waletzko (due to injury) and John Ridgeway, and sixth-rounder Devin Harper, who was also hindered by injury.
The draft is admittedly a crap shoot. There are swings and misses every year, but it would be foolish for the Cowboys to hoard this much draft capital. Unless, of course, they’re head over heels with the 2023 class.
Still, though, the best way to maximize their newfound resources would be to offer one or two of them up as trade bait to move up.
What’s more likely, Cowboys fans? That Dallas looks back on the 2023 draft and regrets not keeping four fifth-round selections, or that they regret not trading one of these new picks to get a guy they’ve loved from jump street?