IRVING, Texas– When the Cowboys dealt away some of their low-end draft picks last season, they did so with the idea they would be compensated in return, at some point.
That point was Friday when the NFL announced the Cowboys would get four compensatory draft picks for the 2016 draft, pushing their total of selections up from five to nine.
One of the picks is a fourth rounder (135th overall), to go along with three more sixth-round picks for this season. The Cowboys were awarded picks No. 212, 216 and 217.
While the NFL is planning on making the compensatory picks tradeable in the future, that won't begin this year, meaning the Cowboys will be locked into those four picks.
Compensatory picks are awarded by the NFL, using a formula to determine the value of free agents acquired and gained through the previous year. Typically, when teams lose considerably more free agents than it acquires, it makes them eligible for compensatory picks.[embeddedad0]
The Cowboys were able to sign Greg Hardy, Darren McFadden and Andrew Gachkar, but lost DeMarco Murray, Jermey Parnell, Bruce Carter, Henry Melton, Dwayne Harris, Justin Durant, Anthony Spencer and George Selvie.
So now the Cowboys have picks in the first, second and third round, before two in the fourth. The Cowboys traded away their fifth-round pick for Brice Butler, but received a sixth in return from the Raiders. The Cowboys did not have their original sixth because it was traded to San Francisco to acquire Geoff Swaim. The Cowboys' seventh-round pick was dealt for Christine Michael to Seattle.