Cowboys fleece Lions in genius trade-back in first round of NFL Draft

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Commanders
Dallas Cowboys v Washington Commanders / Kara Durrette/GettyImages

The draft board fell perfect for the Dallas Cowboys, but they didn't allow themselves to get trigger happy. With stud Duke offensive lineman Graham Barton and some of the stop cornerbacks still available, the Cowboys elected to move out of the No. 24 overall pick in a trade with the Lions.

Per Nick Harris of the team's official website, the Cowboys acquired the No. 29 overall pick and No. 73 overall selection (a third-round pick!) in exchange for the 24th pick and a seventh-round pick in next year's draft.

This is a fantastic trade for Dallas, which should have its pick of an offensive linemen or impact defensive player when they pick at No. 29. As exciting as Barton would have been, the Cowboys have far too many roster holes to not pick up an extra day two pick.

Cowboys execute genius trade-back with Lions in first round of 2024 NFL Draft

The Lions used the pick on Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold. The Barton dream is no longer alive, as he went 26th to the Buccaneers. Arizona tackle Jordan Morgan is also gone, as he went 25th to the Packers. The Cowboys could still pivot to Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson or West Viriginia guard/center Zach Frazier, who has Zack Martin's seal of approval.

Cowboys fans shouldn't rule out Missouri defensive lineman Darius Robinson, either. Robinson gained steam as a potential Cowboys target on Thursday when ESPN's Todd Archer coined Robinson as a "name to ponder." Robinson was a 30 visit with Dallas and would bring a tenacious mindset to Mike Zimmer's defense that is absolutely needed.

Regardless of which direction the Cowboys go, the most important thing is they added an extra selection. They now have pick Nos. 29, No. 56, No. 73, No. 87, No. 174, 216, 233 and 244. Before the trade, they were set to go almost 90 picks in between selections in the third and fifth round.

That simply wasn't conducive to filling the remaining holes on the roster. The latest run on offensive linemen definitely stings, but trading back was the right move in terms of the bigger picture. The door remains open for Dallas to trade down again if they don't like who's available.

Even if that involves trading out of the first round altogether, stockpiling as much ammo as possible for day two would is the smartest option available for this franchise.

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