Credit goes to the DCFanatic blog for raising a very good question on the Twitter this week. What happens if Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill is the top-rated player left on the Cowboys' board when pick No. 14 overall rolls around?
It's beyond unlikely that the Cowboys would actually pick Tannehill, as Tony Romo is cemented as the starter and Kyle Orton will be the No. 2 for the next three years.
But recent history has shown the Cowboys' willingness to move down in the draft if a top quarterback is still available when they go on the clock.
In 2004, they traded the 22nd pick in the first round to Buffalo, who coveted quarterback J.P. Losman. The Cowboys picked up the Bills' second-rounder that year (RB Julius Jones), fifth-round pick (TE Sean Ryan) and first-rounder in 2005 (DE Marcus Spears).
In 2007 it was quarterback Brady Quinn sitting there when the Cowboys came up, again at No. 22. Cleveland traded for the pick, giving Dallas their 2007 second-rounder and a 2008 first-rounder (RB Felix Jones). The Cowboys used Cleveland's second to get back into the first round in 2007, picking outside linebacker Anthony Spencer at No. 26 overall.
Some regard Tannehill as a top-10 pick, but it's not at all out of the question that he could slip. If he's available, the Cowboys almost certainly will listen to offers.
With a pick as high as No. 14, the Cowboys wouldn't want to move all the way out of the first round, but if they could collect a ransom for Tannehill, there would still be the possibility of getting back into Round 1.
So, which teams picking behind the Cowboys might be willing to make a deal for Tannehill?
What about Cleveland, picking 22nd? The Browns were disappointed to lose out on the opportunity to trade for Robert Griffin III, and might not like the value of Tannehill with their first pick in the opening round, No. 4 overall. The Cowboys might be able to move down eight spots and pick up the Browns' first-rounder for next year.
Houston, at No. 26, might have an interest, or Baltimore, No. 29.
Beyond that, the next best trading partners don't seem to come around until the second round, where Miami and Kansas City pick in the top 10.
Would the Cowboys trade down from No. 14? It just depends on the size of the offer, and what talent they projected to be available in the slot they would be taking over.
Never say never.