2011 NFL Draft: How the Dallas Cowboys Could Land Patrick Peterson

Trevor TriggContributor IMarch 23, 2011

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 13:  Patrick Peterson #7 of the Louisiana State University Tigers runs back an interception against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Tiger Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

This seems like a crazy idea. Before the Combine, almost every mock draft I saw had Patrick Peterson going second overall. Several draft gurus rave that Peterson is the cleanest, most talented sure-fire player in this year's draft. So why do I think the Cowboys could possibly land a player like that with the ninth pick?

Well, I don't think he will fall to the ninth pick. There are too many teams that need secondary help in the top 10 picks to think he would fall that far. However, the Broncos signed Champ Bailey to an extension, so they will probably go in another direction. Other players have soared up draft boards since the combine, like Marcell Dareus and Von Miller.

Also, even though this year's crop of quarterbacks is not the best in recent memory, I'm betting that at least two quarterbacks, namely Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton, will be selected in the top 10. That pushes a player like Peterson a little further back in the draft. I'm not saying those teams should draft either of them, but, undoubtedly, they will.

Even with all this it would still be impossible for the Cowboys to draft Peterson. There is no way he would make it past San Francisco at the seventh pick, even if he made it that far. But recently, I've seen him sliding as far as Cleveland in some mock drafts. At this point, I think the Cowboys could trade up to the sixth pick to get him. That way, they could leap frog the Niners and land one of the best corner prospects since Deion Sanders.

The question then becomes how much the Cowboys will have to give to move up three spots. I'm not an expert on point values of draft picks, but I would think they would at least have to give up their third-round pick, maybe even their second as well.

Fans don't seem to think that the Cowboys need to trade away any picks, the reason being that the Cowboys have so many holes to fill. They probably have less holes to fill than any other top-10 team, though. Really, I think that if they just made their offensive and defensive lines respectable again, they would easily be a playoff team.

But a talent like Peterson doesn't come along very often. I think if the trade up is reasonable, they should grab him. Now I'm not suggesting giving up our first three picks or our first next year or anything, but if they can trade up with only their third-round pick, they should.

The key here is that the price must be right. The last thing the Cowboys need to do is sell the farm to get one player like the Saints did with Ricky Williams. If they have to give up their second-round pick or any future first-round picks they should just draft the best player available or even move down.

Imagine though, a Dallas defense with Demarcus Ware rushing the passer and a shutdown corner like Patrick Peterson back there picking off passes and returning them for touchdowns. It's probably a pipe dream, but hey, with this lockout in place, we all have to do a fair amount of dreaming.