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Mailbag: Expectations For Compensatory Picks?

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Given the fact Dallas will be getting five compensatory picks, do you think it's more likely they trade up in the draft? — MORICE WELLINGTON III / VIRGINIA BEACH, VA

David: Just for the sake of clarity, we don't yet know what the comp pick situation looks like. The NFL keeps that whole process very private, so it'd be a mistake to assume too much ahead of time. But just in general, yes they should have a few extra picks to work with. I'm particularly interested in the extra third round pick they should get for Byron Jones. That could lead to either an extra Top 100 prospect, or they could use it as valuable trade ammo. Both options are awfully intriguing.

Rob: The maximum for a team is four, and none can be higher than the third round. Trade up? Like always, it will depend on what their board tells them. If there's a prospect they'd like to move up for, sure, compensatory picks can help now that they're tradable. A couple years ago the Cowboys used a comp pick to trade down, not up, and drafted Donovan Wilson in the sixth. Sometimes it's wise just to sit and pick. Dak Prescott and Dalton Schultz were comp selections.

Which of the coaching staff changes do you feel will be the most impactful? — DON RICHARDS / LAGO VISTA, TX

David: Personally, I'm less concerned about the actual coaches and more interested in the scheme change. After watching the disastrous results of last year, I'm awfully eager to get back to something that looks a little bit more familiar. I know this defense wasn't perfect under Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard, but at least we know the guys who are here can play it at a high level. That makes it a little bit easier for me to believe that they can rebound in 2021.

Rob: If the Cowboys are going to make considerable improvement, the answer needs to be Dan Quinn. It's not just about his scheme, which might be the most significant change the club makes this offseason. It's his reputation as a high-energy coach and communicator. Getting everyone on the same page and comfortable with roles and assignments will be critical after the defense's problems in 2020. And remember, another virtual offseason (at least on some level) is not out of the question across the league. That's why I think the hire makes a lot of sense: veteran coach, familiar scheme.

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