Cowboys Projected to Make ‘Attacking’ Trade With Colts by ESPN Insider

Mike McCarthy

Getty Dallas Cowboys head coach delivers instruction during an NFL game.

The Dallas Cowboys are entering the next important phase of the 2023 offseason with trades and the 2023 NFL draft being the focus of the next few weeks.

The Cowboys’ offseason has been fairly eventful with major departures and key additions in free agency, but a solid return from the upcoming NFL draft will be a key part of grading the NFC East’s efforts so far.

In order to boost their potential return, ESPN insider Bill Barnwell suggested a trade with the Indianapolis Colts. Barnwell’s logic is that the Cowboys will get far better value by trading back with the Colts and they can still add top talent for their needs.

“After trading a pair of late-round picks to acquire crucial veterans Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore, the Cowboys might want to use a small trade down to help replenish their draft capital. They should be looking at running back and tight end and depth along the line of scrimmage, and those are positions they should be comfortable attacking on Days 2 and 3,” Barnwell wrote.

Barnwell thinks the Cowboys can offer their 26th overall pick to get the Colts’ 35th overall pick and their fourth-round selection in 2023, as well as Indianapolis’ fourth-round pick in 2024.

Colts GM Speaks on Recent Stephon Gilmore Trade

If the Colts and Cowboys do make a trade during the NFL draft, that’ll be the second deal of the offseason for the two franchises. The Colts offloaded veteran corner Stephon Gilmore earlier this offseason, with Dallas giving up a fifth-round pick in return.

Indianapolis’ general manager Chris Ballard recently spoke on the trade, stating that the move was a good one for all parties.

“I think it was good for both of us,” Ballard said according to “He’s just at a point in his career that, he’s at the end of his career. I thought he was a decent fit for the defense. But a chance to get a pick for him in the last year of his deal. Shed a little bit of the contract money off. I thought was good for both of us, be able to send him to Dallas, which is a good spot and a good fit defensively for him. That kind of went into it.”

Gilmore is a five-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro, but will be playing for his fourth different team in four seasons. However, the 32-year-old is still producing at a high level and had two picks and 11 passes defended in 2022.

Cowboys’ Draft Picks in 2023

Barnwell suggests this trade as a way to help the Cowboys’ draft capital, which has been depleted somewhat due to the trades for Gilmore and wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Their current list of picks are:

  • Round 1: No. 26
  • Round 2: No. 58
  • Round 3: No. 90
  • Round 4: No. 129
  • Round 5: No. 169
  • Round 6: No. 212
  • Round 7: No. 244

Seven picks in seven rounds is the standard, and Barnwell’s suggestion is a double-edged sword: yes, Dallas does get an extra pick in this draft and one for next year, but they are losing out on ten spots.

If the Cowboys really want a specific prospect in that area of the draft, they probably can’t afford to trade back for extra draft stock. Otherwise, Dallas could benefit greatly from an extra selection.

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