We all know that just about anything can happen when Jerry Jones is running the war room on draft day. But there seems to be a pretty decent consensus forming that the Cowboys would prefer to trade out of the #9 spot. It isn't that there isn't anyone available. The problem is that the players that seem to fit best for the Cowboys will all be off the board by the time they pick or picking the next best on their draft board would be a reach at #9. So a trade down makes sense. Of course that is all assuming the Cowboys can find someone willing to make the move up in the draft.
With that said, I tend to agree with the draft gurus and predict a trade out of the #9 spot for the Cowboys. The Dolphins always seem to be willing to work with the Cowboys when it comes to trades. So a trade down to the #15 spot makes sense. The Cowboys could pick up a 2nd or 3rd round pick with the trade down and still get a top tier player at tackle which is what I think is the #1 priority for the team on draft day.
Anthony Castanzo from Boston College fits the Cowboys need on the offensive line perfectly. He has 54 games of starting experience for a big time division I program. He could step in immediately at right tackle if the Cowboys decide to unload Mark Colombo or he could start inside at guard for a season or two if the Cowboys think they can milk another season or two out of Colombo. Castanzo is a mauler in the running game and he could get the job done pass protecting on the right side. I'd like to see the Cowboys see if Colombo has anything left before cutting him loose but Colombo may not ever be the guy he was a few years ago after all of his knee injuries.
Now this is where I think the Cowboys will make a surprise move. While some might think the Cowboys will be content to sit back and wait for their 2nd round pick I think a trade down gives the Cowboys the ammunition they need to trade back into the latter part of the first round. And with the needs the Cowboys have it would make perfect sense to give up a pick to move back up to get another player who can make an immediate impact next season.
The Patriots are sitting at #28 and they love to trade down as much as Jerry Jones does. It would make perfect sense to get back into the late first round to get a defensive end since the defensive line is in a state of flux thanks to the delayed start to free agency. The Cowboys will have some options with this pick since so many defensive lineman are projected to go late in the first round. I don't have a specific player in mind here but you can count on one of the top defensive ends slipping a little more than the gurus are currently predicting. There are always a few surprise picks every year that allow some of the better players to slip down a few more picks that everyone originally thought. The Cowboys need to find a guy who can step in as an impact player at defensive end.
So my perfect world scenario has the Cowboys trading down to pick one of the top tackles (Castanzo) and then trading back into the latter part of the first round for a defensive end. Will it happen? Probably not, but I think it would be the best case scenario for the Cowboys. By addressing two of the top need positions so early in the draft the Cowboys could then get serious about getting a safety in the second round.