Mock Draft Time: Cowboys Trade (Up, Down, Sideways) Scenarios

This week in Mock Draft Time we're exploring trade-down scenarios for the Dallas Cowboys. Would any of these work for Jerry Jones?

This week on Mock Draft Time we explore trade-down scenarios for the Dallas Cowboys. Yeah, I know — that's kind of a dirty word, isn't it?

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has a propensity for trading down. Sometimes it's to save/move money. Sometimes it's actually smart. But the Cowboys possess a valuable commodity in this draft — the No. 4 overall selection. Most scouts are in agreement that two quarterbacks — Jared Goff of California and Carson Wentz of North Dakota State — are worth Top 5 selection. With Tennessee at No. 1 and San Diego at No. 3 seemingly in no need at the position, and Cleveland most likely taking one of them at No. 2, it leaves the Cowboys in a desirable spot. They can choose one of the Top 5 players in the draft and plug that player wherever he is needed (to me Florida State's Jalen Ramsey and Ohio State's Joey Bosa are the most likely candidates). Or they can see if anyone wants to trade up. And there will be suitors. (Listen to the CowboysCast above featuring Fish, Dane Brugler and the Cowboys' own Jack Crawford all all sort of insights.)

The scenarios envision teams that are interested in trading into No. 4 to pick a quarterback. They all have an acute need at the position. If they see value in trading up to get one of those two players, these are the scenarios that I could see making that happen.

Here are the parameters. First, I only allowed teams to trade picks. This allowed me to use the trade value chart as a barometer for the quality of the deal. Second, I wasn't slavish to the chart and please understand that NFL teams aren't either. The chart is a barometer, a tool to make a decision, but the points don't have to line up perfectly. I didn't see value in trying to get an extra seventh-rounder from a team in order to get the points to line up because NFL teams don't make decisions like that. Third, this doesn't take into account the ramifications to the Cowboys' rookie salary pool, which would certainly go up in scenarios such as this. Finally, all mocks were about getting the best available player, regardless of position.

So here we go. Would any of these deals work for the Cowboys? Let's find out.

Remember — all mocks are for recreational purposes only. No wagering please. Next week I'll return to the First Round Mock 4.0.

Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

Scenario 1: Cowboys trade No. 4 overall pick to Chicago for Bears' No. 11 overall pick and Bears' second-round pick (No. 41 overall)

Why? The Bears may be preparing to move on from the Jay Cutler era. To do so they'll have to pay the price in giving up their second-round pick in this scenario. It's about a 60-point difference on the trade value chart in favor of the Bears, but the Cowboys get an extra second-rounder in return, just seven picks behind their own second-rounder. That could be worth a starter.

Round 1 (11): CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida

Round 2 (34): DL Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss

Round 2 (41): QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis**

Round 3 (67): RB Devontae Booker, Utah

Round 4 (101): OLB Kyler Fackrell, Utah State

Round 4 (135*): WR Jordan Payton, UCLA

Round 6 (189): TE Beau Sandland, Montana State

Round 6 (212*): CB Kevin Peterson, Oklahoma State

Round 6 (216*): G Joe Dahl, Washington State

Round 6 (217*): S Kavon Frazier, Central Michigan

* — compensatory picks; ** — pick acquired via trade

Analysis: With just the one extra selection the complexion of this draft changed quite a bit. The Cowboys trade down seven spots and still get a desirable corner in Hargreaves. Nkemdiche, while a risk, gives them a quarterback crasher. Lynch dropping to the second round and into the slot occupied by their new selection from the Bears was fortuitous, as was getting a back of Booker's talent in the third round. Beyond that the Cowboys acquire depth at linebacker, wide receiver and the defensive backfield. All in all, this scenario works well for the Cowboys

Josh Winslow/BSB

Scenario 2: Cowboys trade No. 4 overall pick to Los Angeles for the Rams' No. 15 overall pick, one of the Rams' second-round picks (No. 43 overall) and the Rams' third-round pick (No. 76 overall).

Why? This is the type of deal the Cowboys would probably love to make. Getting an extra second-rounder and an extra third-rounder would probably be worth trading back 11 spots, and the point values for the selections are pretty balanced. The Rams have some flexibility because they have two second-round picks. They also have some urgency. They're moving into a new city and they need to make a splash to get the fan based jacked up. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was instrumental in getting the Rams and owner Stan Kroenke approved to move to L.A. This may be the perfect time for Jones to call in his marker.

Round 1 (15): OLB Darron Lee, Ohio State

Round 2 (34): DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson

Round 2 (43): DT Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech**

Round 3 (67): G Vadal Alexander, LSU

Round 3 (76): S Jeremy Cash, Duke**

Round 4 (101): WR Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma

Round 4 (135*): RB Paul Perkins, UCLA

Round 6 (189):  QB Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky

Round 6 (212*): RB Wendell Smallwood, West Virginia

Round 6 (216*): ILB Nick Kwiatkowski, West Virginia

Round 6 (217*): TE David Morgan II, UTSA

* — compensatory picks; ** — pick acquired via trade

Analysis: These are the scenarios that make it worth it to trade back. Lee could start immediately. Dodd is a project but the Cowboys have collected enough depth this offseason to give Dodd time to develop, and he can give them 15-20 plays immediately. Butler is a mid-major gem on the inside and is zooming up draft boards right now, so I'm not sure he gets to the first round anymore. Alexander can slip into the swing guard role vacated by Mackenzy Bernadeau and Cash is good depth with starter potential at safety. In the fourth round the Cowboys go offense and select Shepard and Perkins. Even the Round 6 picks are valuable. Doughty is a solid project player at quarterback, Smallwood has a higher ceiling than a sixth-rounder, in my opinion, and Kwiatkowski has special teams ace written all over him.

Jim O'Connor - USA Today Sports

Scenario 3: Cowboys trade No. 4 overall pick to Buffalo for the Bills' No. 19 overall pick, the Bills' second-round pick (No. 49 overall), the Bills' third-round pick (No. 80 overall) and a second- or third-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Why? This is when you start to stretch the bounds of reality a bit. Would the Bills really pay this much to move up to take a quarterback? Based on the trade value chart, this is the kind of deal it would take. But when you have Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel as your quarterbacks right now, are you really happy with what you have? The Bills would have to pay a premium price if you think either Goff or Wentz are worth it in the long-term. To me, if a deal like this came Dallas' way it would be a no-brainer for them. An extra second and an extra third would be too much to pass up. I personally think a more likely scenario is Buffalo's first-rounder, second-rounder and a player to move up. But I threw in the second- or third-round pick in 2017 to make the value work. It would be an aggressive move by Buffalo to say the least.

Round 1 (19): RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State

Round 2 (34): CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson

Round 2 (49): QB Connor Cook, Michigan State**

Round 3 (67): OLB Joshua Perry, Ohio State

Round 3 (80): C Nick Martin, Notre Dame**

Round 4 (101): DT Javon Hargrave, South Carolina State

Round 4 (135*): WR Kenny Lawler, California

Round 6 (189): G Denver Kirkland, Arkansas

Round 6 (212*): CB Deiondre' Hall, Northern Iowa

Round 6 (216*): S Kavon Frazier, Central Michigan

Round 6 (217*): OT Avery Young, Auburn

* — compensatory picks; ** — pick acquired via trade

Analysis: This is an absolute bounty, starting with Elliott at running back. That gives the Cowboys Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden, Lance Dunbar and Elliott. Alexander is a first-round value that slips into the early second round, and the Cowboys address quarterback with Cook using their acquired second-round pick. Grabbing Perry in the third round makes sense for depth and the future. Martin is valuable depth on the offensive line. Hargrave is a project, but scouts agree his talent and ceiling are worth it. From there it's more help for the secondary. The only significant need that isn't addressed is defensive end, which is a shame given the extra picks. But the Cowboys get help with everything else.

©M. Samek / SCOUT

Scenario 4: Cowboys trade No. 4 overall pick to San Francisco for 49ers' No. 7 overall pick and 49ers' fourth-round pick (No. 103 overall)

Why? I saved this for last because it seems the most unlikely of the bunch. Heck, the trade simulator wouldn't accept my original offer — Dallas' first-rounder for San Francisco's first- and third-rounder. That trade made more sense on the trade value chart. Instead the simulator accepted the first- and fourth-round scenario. This assumes the Colin Kaepernick trade goes through (it had not as of Wednesday when I wrote this), which boosts the 49ers' need for a quarterback of the future. With no real guarantee of either Goff or Wentz dropping to No. 7, the 49ers would have to make a move. Moving to No. 4 is sensible for them because it will likely cost them the least. I think Dallas would push for more in this instance, perhaps an additional pick in 2017. If they 49ers don’t budge I would pass.

Round 1 (7): RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State

Round 2 (34): OLB Leonard Floyd, Georgia

Round 3 (67): RB Devontae Booker, Utah

Round 4 (101): QB Christian Hackenberg, Penn State

Round 4 (103): G Landon Turner, North Carolina**

Round 4 (135*): WR Jordan Payton, UCLA

Round 6 (189): DE James Cowser, Southern Utah

Round 6 (212*): CB Daryl Worley, West Virginia

Round 6 (216*): CB Deiondre' Hall, Northern Iowa

Round 6 (217*): DT Nile Lawrence-Stample, Florida State

* — compensatory picks; ** — pick acquired via trade

Analysis: Even with only one extra selection, the results in the first four rounds are hard to argue with. Elliott pops up again, followed by Floyd, Booker and Hackenberg. The Cowboys spend their new pick on Turner, an underrated guard who can be immediate depth. The depth acquired with the final five picks is solid, including Payton and Cowser. But unlike the other three scenarios, this mock doesn’t address the high-end depth at positions like cornerback and defensive line, which is why acquiring a third-round pick, in my opinion, would be key in executing this trade from Dallas's perspective.  

Want to talk more about the Cowboys? Hit the Boards or hit Postins up on Twitter at @PostinsPostcard and Mike Fisher at @FishSports.

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