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Mailbag: A Trade-Down Draft Scenario?

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Since most teams have a first-round grade on 15-20 players, if the Cowboys believe that the players they target will still be available at pick No. 30 or 31, do you think they would consider trading down in the first round to 30 or 31 and pick up an extra third-round pick? — ROBERT CORCHINE / ALBUQUERQUE, NM

Rob: So, the Travis Frederick scenario from 2013? I mean, sure, maybe? You're probably right saying most teams have first-round grades on maybe 20 players a year, give or take. But there's always risk in trading down and missing out on the player you want, unless there's a group of players on the board all graded similarly and you'd be happy with any of them. I've said this before: I'm usually a sit-and-pick guy. This draft is deep enough that you can probably find good players without having to move around much.

David: If they're going to do it, this might be a draft where it makes sense. I think the value will be similar between picks 18-32. But it's just so hard to predict because we can't say for sure how the board will fall. Perhaps they'll have a chance to draft a player far better than what they were expecting, ala CeeDee Lamb in 2020. But just as a general statement, I'd be perfectly happy trading back 6-7 spots and trying to add another Top 100 pick.

Will more career starts as a Cowboy come from the second-round pick or the four fifth-rounders in this year's draft? — PAUL GREGORY / BEVERLY HILLS, CA

Rob: Ah, good one. I'll go with the second-round pick, whoever it is. Yeah, there's strength in numbers with the fifth-rounders, but the last Cowboys fifth-round pick who became a starter was Joseph Randle in 2013. And the only fifth-round pick who started for more than one season? Orlando Scandrick (2008).

David: I feel like people have been down on the second-round picks for a while, and I'm not totally sure it's warranted. Yes, Jaylon Smith was a disappointment, and Trysten Hill hasn't been great to this point. But the Cowboys found DeMarcus Lawrence and Trevon Diggs in the second round. And they also got useful contributions from Chidobe Awuzie, Connor Williams and Randy Gregory. So with all of that said, give me the second-round pick.

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