ESPN proposes genius Cowboys draft trade that fans will love

Nov 7, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones with his son Stephen Jones on
Nov 7, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones with his son Stephen Jones on / Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys own the No. 26 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Fans are largely split in terms of whom they want Dallas to take, but seemingly everyone is in lockstep that trading up would be a nightmare decision by the front office.

Luckily, that doesn't appear to be in the cards. The last time the Cowboys traded up in the draft was in 2014 when they jumped 13 picks to take DeMarcus Lawrence. They sent pick Nos. 47 and 78 overall to Washington to make it happen.

It was a great call by Jerry Jones and company, but this is the last draft class that would warrant moving up, especially in the first round. If there's a player they love available in the third or fourth round and all it would take to get him is an extra sixth or seventh-round pick, then by all means trade up.

Assuming there's no obvious home run pick, trading down in Round 1 feels like the smartest course of action for the Cowboys.

ESPN's Bill Barnwell recently suggested a trade idea for every first round pick in the draft. Lo and behold, Barnwell is on board with Dallas trading down, as he pitched dropping to No. 35 overall in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts.

Cowboys trading down in 2023 NFL Draft is a fantastic idea

Cowboys get: pick No. 35, pick No. 106, 2024 fourth-round pick

Colts get: pick No. 26

Here's why Barnwell thinks this trade makes sense for Dallas.

"After trading a pair of late-round picks to acquire crucial veterans Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore, the Cowboys might want to use a small trade down to help replenish their draft capital. They should be looking at running back and tight end and depth along the line of scrimmage, and those are positions they should be attacking on Days 2 and 3."

Barnwell is talking our language. Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer is the popular pick for the Cowboys with the 26th pick. If we had to choose between taking Mayer or trading down nine spots and acquiring two extra fourth-round selections in the process, we'd side with the latter and not think twice about it.

There's no predicting how the board will fall, but use Mel Kiper's latest mock as a frame of reference. If the Cowboys moved down to 35, they'd have their choice of Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Michigan DL Mazi Smith, Georgia TE Darnell Washington, TCU guard Steve Avila and Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell.

All of those players sans Campbell have been mocked to Dallas at No. 26 overall in some capacity over the last few months. Not all of them will be available at pick 35, but it'd be a stroke of genius if the Cowboys netted one of them nine picks down the line while picking up two extra picks.

Keep in mind they draft again at No. 58 overall, so they could walk away with two studs before the third round rolls around.

We seriously hope trading down is being heavily discussed in Dallas' war room.

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