IRVING, Texas -- Now that the Los Angeles Rams have the top overall pick in the draft thanks to their trade with the Tennessee Titans, what does it mean for the Dallas Cowboys?
It means one of the quarterbacks, possibly Carson Wentz, will be gone by the time the Cowboys are on the clock with the fourth overall pick. The Rams did not make a trade of this caliber to select anything but a quarterback.
The Cleveland Browns hold the second pick and should be in the quarterback bidding but they did sign Robert Griffin III and they could have a "for sale" sign out as well in hopes of landing a similar package to what the Titans received.
The San Diego Chargers at No. 3 have an older quarterback but don’t seem to be interested in starting their replacement plan for Philip Rivers the way some want the Cowboys to start their replacement plan for Tony Romo.
This could open the door for a possible trade-down scenario for the Cowboys, but it would likely be a draft-day scenario should the Browns pass on a quarterback. The Cowboys have had all of the usual suspects mentioned at No. 4 at Valley Ranch for a pre-draft visit, minus offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, but they have also had a number of middle first-round picks in as well, which suggests they would be open to a deal.
And with Jerry Jones, nothing would come as a surprise.
But let’s take a longer view of this trade and what it could mean for the Cowboys.
In order to move up from No. 15 in the first round, the Rams gave up picks Nos. 15, 43, 45 and 76 this year and their first- and third-round picks next year for the No. 1 overall pick and Tennessee’s selections in the fourth and sixth rounds this year.
That’s quite a lot.
The Cowboys hope to never pick this high again based on their record. They believe they have a team that can contend even coming off a 4-12 finish in 2015. A healthy Romo, Dez Bryant and Orlando Scandrick, plus a talented if not deep roster, should make the Cowboys the NFC East favorites at the very least.
But let’s say the Cowboys go back to their 8-8 ways and find themselves in the middle of the road in the first round and needing to draft a quarterback of the future in 2017 and ’18.
The Rams’ trade suggests they would have to give up the farm, so to speak. Two first-round picks, two second-round picks and two third-round picks. The Rams clearly believe one of these quarterbacks will be a franchise player.
In the future, the Cowboys would likely have to give up a similar package to get to the top or near the top of the first round to select whichever quarterback will be highly rated.
Before this trade, my feeling was that whenever the Cowboys needed to go get a quarterback, they should do whatever is necessary to get that player. But now after seeing the actual cost the Rams paid to move up, giving up six premium picks in a two-year span, such a deal would give me pause.
Based on the Rams' trade, those advocating taking a quarterback at No. 4 this year certainly have a stronger case.