IRVING, Texas — On Monday, at the NFL owners’ meetings in Orlando, the Dallas Cowboys received three compensatory picks, all in the seventh round. These three additional picks give the Cowboys eleven draft picks in May, the franchise’s most since the draft went to seven rounds in 1994. It also gives the front office a lot of options. Here is a list of the Cowboys’ draft picks:
First round: 16th
Second round: 47th
Third round: 78th
Fourth round: 119th
Fifth round: 158th
Seventh round: 229th, 231st, 238th, 248th*, 251st*, 254th*
While it’s worth mentioning that compensatory picks cannot be traded, the Cowboys could use their regular seventh rounders sort of as the condiments needed to complete a trade to move up in the 2014 draft to take someone high on their board.
The Cowboys could also bundle their picks and trade into the future. It is a system the New England Patriots have put into place during the last decade. Dallas also had this luxury during the 2007 draft when they sent their first round pick to Cleveland for a 2008 first round selection. In the 2008 draft, Dallas had two first round selections to work with.
Given the trade value of the Cowboys’ picks, the likelihood that they are able to make any deals in this draft or the next are pretty slim. The reality is, the Cowboys will use all eleven of their draft picks in this year’s draft.
What kind of value can be had in the seventh round?
Going back to 2005, NFL teams have found gems like Stevie Johnson, Captain Munnerlyn, Fred Evans, and Jay Ratliff in the seventh round. Mind you, these are allegedly bad franchises that don’t know how to draft like Buffalo, Carolina, Miami, and even Dallas finding such value in the draft’s final round. In last year’s draft, the Seattle Seahawks found a seventh rounder in Michael Bowie, who started for them at right tackle. The San Francisco 49ers also drafted cornerback Marcus Cooper, who after being cut by the 49ers and then signed by the Kansas City Chiefs, forced a fumble, intercepted three passes, and returned one of them for a touchdown.
Therein lies the problem with taking so many picks: if they don’t make the cut, they could make an impact elsewhere.
Nonetheless, stacking the roster with eleven “right kind of guys” who are in their early twenties is in keeping with the club’s current philosophy. It’s one short of a dozen, but if Will McClay plays it perfectly, it could be enough to have a bright future.