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3 trade options for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2021 NFL Draft

Vincent Frank

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Selecting 10th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys are in a position to go a number of different directions. They don’t have a need at quarterback after signing Dak Prescott to a massive contract extension earlier this offseason.

With that said, the underperforming squad does have holes to fill on the offensive line and in the defensive secondary. Both areas are seen as stacked in the draft, leading to the possibility that Dallas might look to trade down. Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones pretty much confirmed that recently.

“It’s (trade talk) really just starting to pick up,” Jones said earlier this week. “I’m sure up at the top it’s hot because as you’ve already seen, one trade has been made. But where we sit, we’re starting to get a few calls, and it’ll only pick up as we get closer to next Thursday.”

It would certainly make sense if one of the top-five quarterbacks is still on the board with the 10th pick. Quarterback-needy teams would then have to pay a premium to move up with the Dallas Cowboys for that selection. Below, we look at three ideal trade scenarios ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft next week.

Read More: Dallas Cowboys mock draft: Latest 7-round 2021 NFL Draft projection

Dallas Cowboys trade down with the New England Patriots

Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots trade: Justin Fields
Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields (1) and head coach Ryan Day celebrate after defeating the Clemson Tigers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

By now, it’s not a secret that New England has engaged in trade-up conversations for a quarterback. The team has been linked to Mac Jones, Justin Fields and Trey Lance ahead of the annual event. It is also said to be interested in reacquiring Jimmy Garoppolo from the San Francisco 49ers.

Short of a Garoppolo trade, moving up from the 15th selection into the top-10 would make the most sense for these Patriots. If that is indeed the case and should one of the aforementioned quarterbacks fall to the Cowboys’ selection, a trade could make sense. Under this scenario, Dallas would receive New England’s second-round pick in 2021 (46th overall) and likely another second rounder next year.

Read More: NFL trade rumors: Latest updates and information for 2021 offseason

Dallas Cowboys trade down with the Chicago Bears

NFL power rankings: Chicago Bears
Dec 16, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) during the second half against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

To say that the Bears’ embattled brass is desperate to land a franchise quarterback would be an understatement. Head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace are firmly on the hot seat. They also had to settle for Andy Dalton at quarterback during NFL free agency after being linked to the likes of Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz and even Russell Wilson. Ouch!

For the Cowboys, trading down to the 21st pick would still potentially enable them to land a player at a need position in Virginia Tech offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw or his former teammate with the Hokies, cornerback Caleb Farley. In the process, this hypothetical trade would include Dallas receiving a future first-round pick and the Bears’ second rounder next week.

Read More: 2021 NFL mock draft: QBs dominate top-10 picks, big trades

Dallas Cowboys trade down with the New Orleans Saints

Dallas Cowboys trade for  Ryan Ramczyk
Sep 29, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk (71) blocks Dallas Cowboys defensive end Kerry Hyder (51) in the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

We’re not sure if the Cowboys would want to move all the way down to the 28th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. What we do know is that New Orleans is attempting to find a quarterback of the future despite the fact that it has Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill slated to battle for the starting job during training camp. Specifically, the Saints are said to be high on Trey Lance.

A trade of this ilk wouldn’t be complicated. Back in 2017, the Kansas City Chiefs traded up from 27th overall to the 10th pick for Patrick Mahomes. They ended up yielding a third-round pick and future first-round selection from the Buffalo Bills. Given the market dynamic set with the San Francisco 49ers moving up from 12 to three, it’s reasonable to conclude New Orleans would have to pay a higher price. Heck, a first-round pick and contract-year offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk could make sense for both the Saints and Cowboys.