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In looking at the last ten picks at this spot, it’s a mixed bag of results. Only two players started every game as a rookie, and one was Tyler Smith. The other was Najee Harris, a running back that was drafted with the express intention of making him the workhorse back in the Steelers offense. The same goes for Josh Jacobs, who had the second-most games started as a rookie. Behind him, D.J. Moore started 10 games for the Panthers and turned out to be a top 10 receiver in the league.

 

However, six of these players started less than half the season as a rookie, with three of them never even logging a start in their rookie year. Additionally, three of these players are no longer in the league, which isn’t the kind of timeline you want in a first-round pick.

 

All of this is to drive home the point that the Cowboys aren’t guaranteed to land an impact player in the first round, much less with any of their other draft picks. While the organization has excelled at drafting since Will McClay took over the draft, there is still an undeniable role that luck plays in all of this. So if the Cowboys are playing the odds with the draft, why not increase their odds?

It’s basic logic to suggest that the more draft picks a team has, the more likely they are to draft a good player. Trading down from the 24th spot would accomplish that. They could accumulate some added draft capital without greatly sacrificing their odds of getting a solid player with their first pick.

 

As an example, look at just last year’s 24th pick. The Jaguars initially held the pick, but they traded back one spot with the Giants. In exchange, the Jaguars received the 25th pick, the 160th pick, and the 240th pick. They then traded back again, giving that pick to the Bills in exchange for Buffalo’s 27th and 130th picks. According to Over the Cap’s modern draft trade chart, Jacksonville netted 244 points of value to move back just three spots. They then drafted tackle Anton Harrison, who started all 17 games as a rookie.

 

Obviously if the Cowboys have a highly-rated player fall into their laps, as CeeDee Lamb did back in 2020, then they should take advantage of such a gift. Otherwise, the Cowboys would be wise to explore the idea of trading back in the first round to acquire some extra draft capital, thus boosting their odds of filling some of these roster holes through the draft.

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