The likely first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Myles Garrett ‘joked’ about the Dallas Cowboys trading up to select him. But how crazy would it be for them to do so?
Imagine a world in which the Dallas Cowboys make a big splash in the 2017 NFL Draft, trading up with the Cleveland Browns and selecting Myles Garrett with the No. 1 overall pick. Sure, it’s a long-shot right now, as the Cowboys are currently holders of the 28th overall selection. With one team needing help with their pass rush and another team who likes to make trades with draft picks, such a marriage could happen between the Cowboys and the Browns.
The Browns need more than a potentially great pass rusher, and the Cowboys have the picks available to make a deal with the Browns. Even if the Browns do already have 11 picks to their name thus far, some sort of deal could conceivably be worked out. All of this, of course, is even a question because Garrett jokingly suggested that Dallas trade up and draft him.
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Now, the question is this: Does a trade make sense for the Cowboys to ensure they are able to draft the top defensive pass rusher in the draft? Or should they be patient and see who is available on their board when their 28th overall pick rolls around?
Also on the roster for the Cowboys as an edge defender are Charles Tapper, whom the Cowboys drafted in the third round in 2016, and Randy Gregory, who has been suspended more in his NFL career than he’s been on the field.
Looking at the above players, it is certain an edge defender needs to be a big focal point this offseason through free agency and the NFL Draft. The Cowboys do need to sign a veteran like Demarcus Ware to help build up the younger defensive pass rushers on the roster, but there needs to be a future at this position. Therefore, one must ask: can the Cowboys trust Lawrence or Gregory to become that player?
When I asked an NFL general manager this week how good Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett is, he brought up that 2012 class and how far Luck was ahead of the pack. Garrett, said the general manager, is similarly pulling away from the rest of the class.
That says a lot about what Garrett can become, and let’s face it, the Cowboys, though young in some key positions, are in win-now mode after posting a 13-3 season last year. As the Cowboys look to build a defense to match the firepower of their offense of the 2016 season, Garrett’s draft profile from NFL.com says a lot about the 6-5, 270-pound Texas A&M defensive end. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com describes Garrett perfectly in one sentence:
Elite edge rusher who possesses rare explosiveness and the fluid-movement skills and agility of an NBA shooting guard.
The potential of a player that Garrett is described as being before the NFL Draft added to a defense with hopefully the debut of linebacker Jaylon Smith, a veteran linebacker in Sean Lee and a defensive backfield with Byron Jones would improve the Cowboys defense and make them even more of a Super Bowl contender than the team that finished 13-3 in the regular season en route to an NFC East championship.
The promise of Garrett will be tough for any team to overlook, but the Cowboys will have to make the move of the draft and trade up if they want to have a player like Garrett on their roster next season.
With the players currently on the roster, the Cowboys can make a breakthrough deal and make their team much better with the addition of Garrett. Barring giving up an entire draft, the Cowboys should look into seeing what it would take to make a deal with the Browns, because he could be the playmaker they’ve been missing and could be the defensive player needed for the Cowboys to win the NFC Championship for the first time since the 1995 season.