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Fact or Fiction: Cowboys eyeing a splash in the NFL Draft?

The Dallas Cowboys have a lot of decisions to make this offseason and one will be whether or not to move up in the NFL Draft to select a premium talent
Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, right, holds a jersey with first-round NFL football draft pick Morris Claiborne as they pose during a news conference at Valley Ranch, Friday, April 27, 2012, in Irving, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

DALLAS —

There is no more football of concern to be played and so now, the focus is on free agency and the 2020 NFL Draft. 

As the draft approaches, rumors will begin to trickle in. For the Dallas Cowboys, the biggest current rumor circulating is that Jerry Jones is looking to make a “big splash.”

The first batch of gossip is coming from Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, who reports that the Cowboys are doing their homework on two top prospects from Ohio State. The two Buckeyes mentioned are defensive end Chase Young and cornerback Jeff Okudah. Both Young and Okudah are considered top five players in the draft and it would certainly take a lot of draft capital to move up to draft either player. 

Those specific names are especially intriguing because most people believe the Cowboys will have to decide on paying either DE Robert Quinn or CB Byron Jones in free agency. If the team doesn’t sign one, it could give some insight into who the Cowboys are targeting with this “splash” move in the draft. 

The Cincinnati Bengals are expected to select Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow with the first overall pick. Young is widely considered to be the best non-QB player in the draft and, with Washington owning the second pick in the draft, Dallas would make for strange trading partners. However, if the Cowboys could land Young, it might be worth the effort.

Take the rumor with a grain of salt. The draft is still over two months away and free agency could alter what the Cowboys do when the time comes. The team could also re-sign all of their priority free agents, including Quinn and Jones, to avoid having to make a desperate move up the charts in the draft. 

The last time Jones and the Cowboys were itching to move up and make a splash, they traded their 14th overall pick and a second-rounder to move up eight spots in the first round to select LSU All-American CB Morris Claiborne in 2012. Claiborne, like Okudah, was considered an elite cover cornerback, but injuries limited his availability in Dallas and he was gone after five seasons without much impact or fanfare. 

Nevertheless, there are too many variables so far away from the draft to make any claim that Dallas wants to make a blockbuster move. Also, what would constitute a “splash” trade? Young could be a generational defensive end talent but Dallas might not have the capital to offer teams at the top of the draft to allow them to move up from 17th overall in the first round.

It’s all speculation right now. Jones is known for making bold trades in the draft, but why would he – or anyone inside the organization – indicate they are willing to make a huge move with the draft so far away? 

The Cowboys may make a deal when the draft rolls around, but suggesting the team will make a big splash with a trade before free agency, or while still in the middle of draft evaluations, looks like headline fodder, for now. 

Do you think the Cowboys should move up in the first round of the NFL Draft? Share your thoughts with Ben on Twitter @BenGrimaldi.

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