Cowboys Rumors: Dallas Could Trade Up If Kayvon Thibodeaux Slides in 2022 NFL Draft

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 25, 2022

Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (5) defends during an NCAA college football game against UCLA Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Should Kayvon Thibodeaux slip down the board in the 2022 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys might not be content to stick around at No. 24.

The MMQB's Albert Breer reported that the Cowboys could look to trade up and were monitoring whether Thibodeaux was "potentially sliding."

As the 2021 season drew to a close, Thibodeaux was widely considered to be one of the top players on the board. He was projected to land second overall to the Detroit Lions in Bleacher Report's post-Super Bowl mock draft.

As Thibodeaux's game was scrutinized more and more in recent weeks, though, opinions on him have varied.

ESPN's Todd McShay reported the 6'4" pass-rusher could still be available outside of the top five in part because his floor "is lower than what you want for a top-five pick." McShay added that some evaluators are worried Thibodeaux "just doesn't play with the same fire as some other top prospects."

That drew a response from the player:

Kayvon Thibodeaux @kayvont

Believe in yourself, even if you’re the only one💯🤷🏽‍♂️ <a href="https://t.co/YpFZarHgNQ">https://t.co/YpFZarHgNQ</a>

From a Cowboys' perspective, the prospect of pairing Thibodeaux with Micah Parsons is tantalizing. 

Parsons was the Defensive Rookie of the Year and runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year after finishing with 84 tackles, 13 sacks and three forced fumbles. If the team was to land Thibodeaux, it would potentially have two cornerstones of its defense for years to come.

The Oregon star could also be a long-term successor to DeMarcus Lawrence, who just signed a three-year, $40 million extension.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, trading up in the first round could be easier than one might expect this year. With what appears to be a dearth of top-end talent, there isn't a clear advantage to having a top-10 or top-15 pick.

If he suffered a free fall, the Cowboys presumably wouldn't be the only team interested in Thibodeaux. And considering how little they were able to do in terms of outside additions this offseason, they aren't in a great position to sacrifice multiple draft picks for one player.

The odds of Thibodeaux winding up in Dallas are probably fairly slim.