How Cowboys Could Get More Picks

As the NFL Draft approaches next week, the Dallas Cowboys have six choices in the draft's seven rounds.

But many expect the Cowboys to be active wheelers and dealers when the draft arrives. Maybe it's because the team has been so quiet in free agency, but there is a growing belief that the Cowboys will try to add more picks in this year's draft via trades.

There are two assets that can be traded for additional picks: players and other draft choices — either a package of picks in this year's draft, or trading picks in future drafts in exchange for picks in this year's draft. The possibilities are limitless when discussing picks-for-picks trades, but which current players would make sense as trade chips?

Note: this is not suggesting any of the following players should be traded, but rather that moving them would make some sense, and would bring something of value back in the form of draft picks.

Cornerback Orlando Scandrick
Defensive backs who can cover always are in demand, and Scandrick can cover. More importantly, he also is young (23) and cheap (he made just over $391,000 last year), and has proven himself against NFL receivers. He briefly earned a starting spot at the beginning of the season last year, before giving way to Mike Jenkins, but he still played a lot. In order to trade Scandrick, the Cowboys would have to be eyeing another cornerback, considering all teams need to be able to run three corners out at the same time (not to mention having a useful replacement in case Jenkins or fellow starter Terence Newman gets hurt). If Dallas is really serious about cornerbacks like Brandon Ghee of Wake Forest, Devin McCourty of Rutgers or Akwasi Owusu-Ansah of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, then Scandrick could be sent packing for a mid-round pick.

Running back Tashard Choice
Not a popular suggestion, to be sure. It used to be said that the most popular player on a team was the backup quarterback; now, the argument could be made, it's the third-string running back. Most fans (and probably team officials) would rather move starter Marion Barber, whose violent running style very well could devalue his $45 million contract. But Felix Jones appears to be the favorite son now, possibly taking over the starting role, and finances alone make Choice much more palatable to other teams. Owner Jerry Jones has said that the three-headed running back system is working just fine, so a move here is unlikely, but if a team came to the Cowboys with an offer of a third-round pick? Maybe a second-round pick? It would be hard to turn down.

• • Tight end Martellus Bennett
He has the athletic ability to be a star, but if the front office tires of Bennett's off-field antics, would Dallas let the former Aggie leave town? Maybe so. The Bengals reportedly offered a first-round draft choice last year for Bennett, but the Cowboys declined (some reports out of Ohio suggested that the Bengals' offer was a second- or even a third-round pick, but either way, the interest was there). Teams look at Bennett and see what the Cowboys saw when they drafted him out of Texas A&M a couple of years ago — a huge (6-6, 266) with hands the size of satellite dishes, as well as outstanding speed and jumping ability. If nothing else, he might be worth even more now, as he has improved his blocking significantly. When he is focused, Bennett has the chance to be very successful. But whether he can focus and channel his considerable talent on a daily basis remains to be seen.

Again, this is not to suggest that Scandrick, Choice or Bennett should be traded. But all three are young, talented and affordable, and if premium draft picks are offered for any of the three, the Cowboys would have to give the proposed transactions serious consideration. If moving any of the three backup players could net Dallas an extra draft pick or two, the team would have to check out the offers, so the depth of the team could be fortified through extra draft picks.

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