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Mailbag: Advantage Of Having 4 Compensatory Picks?

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Now that we know the Cowboys have four compensatory picks, should they use those extra picks to move up and select players they have rated higher on their draft board? I think it highly unlikely that 10 draft picks make the team, or even practice squad. — LAYNE PETTY / FREDERICKSBURG, TX

Rob: There's definitely been an extra layer of strategy since the league allowed compensatory picks to be traded in 2017. You obviously can't rule it out, because the Cowboys have shown in the past they're not afraid to move up for a player they really want. They gave up this year's regular fifth-round pick to go get Tyler Biadasz last year. It just depends on the situation and whether you can find a willing team. Sometimes it's better to sit and pick. Somebody named Dak Prescott was a compensatory draft pick.

David: Keep in mind that two of those picks aren't very valuable. Sixth-round draft picks aren't going to help you climb very far on the draft board. But the third and fourth-round picks? Yeah, you could do some damage there. If the opportunity presents itself to package, say, your second-round pick and one of the third-round picks to climb higher into the second round – or maybe even move back into the first round? I'd be awfully intrigued.

Assuming team health and improvement to a league-average defense, do you think we should be heavy favorites to win the NFC East and make a playoff run in 2021? — LES HOFFMAN / PELL CITY, AL

Rob: Well, Dak and the Joneses were asked that question (not heavy favorites, but favorites) Wednesday. And they all feel like they can be in that situation with a healthy team next year. Honestly, I don't see why not. The defense obviously has to be addressed. And Washington should remain very competitive because of their defensive pressure. But if Dak were healthy, could they have won an extra game or two, at minimum, and won the East last year? Of course they could've.

David: Everyone always says that the first step is winning the division – and winning the NFC East has never looked so easy on paper. The Cowboys came really close to winning last year, and that was with a terrible defense and no Dak Prescott. Running it back with a healthier team, I like their odds a lot. Washington is the only other team in the division that currently resembles a playoff contender, and they don't have a quarterback. Obviously, making the playoffs and winning the Super Bowl are two completely different things. I think they'll need to have a really fantastic draft to truly develop into a championship contender. But the makeup is definitely there for them to be a playoff team and (hopefully) go further.

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