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Mailbag: Scenarios For Trading Up & Down


Given the needs this team has that probably won't all be met in this draft, what do you think they should do with the following scenario? Patrick Surtain and Penei Sewell are both on the board and they get an offer to move back into the 20s but pick up a first-round pick next year. Do you take the deal or pick a player? If you pick a player, which one? — JEFF PARSONS / AMARILLO, TX

David: Oh wow, this is a fun question. I think it probably depends on where the pick is. I wouldn't want to trade into the late 20s. I'd rather just pick a player than do that. But let's say Chicago at pick No. 20 called and offered me their 2022 first-round pick so they could jump up and get a quarterback. I'm pretty sure I'd do that. You'd get some great compensation, and you'd still be in a position to draft a great player. At pick No. 20, you'd still have a shot at great defenders like Christian Barmore or Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, or maybe Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome. Or a solid tackle like Virginia Tech's Christian Darrisaw might still be hanging around. So I guess the answer is, as long as I don't have to trade too far back, I'm game.

Rob: That's a great hypothetical. A future first-round pick is very tempting, but if I'm the Cowboys, I just signed Dak Prescott to the second-largest deal in NFL history. I don't do that if I'm not trying to win right now with the best first-round prospect I can find. So, give me the top-10 pick this year and worry about next year in 2022. Just my opinion, but I'd go with Surtain in that scenario. I've said "best defensive player" for months, so I've got to stick to that. But Sewell is probably going to be a franchise-type tackle, so that's a tough call.

Is there a scenario in which you think Dallas would trade up from No. 10? — BRANDAN B.

David: The beauty of having a Top 10 pick and a franchise quarterback is that the Cowboys shouldn't have to. There are only nine teams in front of them, and half of them want quarterbacks. The only player I like enough to trade up for is probably Kyle Pitts, but the Cowboys don't need a tight end badly enough to do something that aggressive. It makes far more sense to let the board come to you, and that's exactly what I think they're going to do.

Rob: Not really, because I just saw one mock draft (CBS) where the first nine picks were offensive players. If that's even remotely accurate, the Cowboys very well might be able to take the best defensive prospect in the draft. And that's exactly who they need. We can talk about injury concerns on offense, but the way the roster is constructed this year, defense should be the top priority, in my opinion.

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