History suggests that Tyler Guyton could be the Cowboys next All-Pro

Excitement is building after the Dallas Cowboys pulled off a nice draft haul last month. With new faces in new places, specific players are in the building holding our interest as we begin elevating our expectations of this football team. Speaking of new players, the consensus “great pick” from this draft class is interior offensive lineman Cooper Beebe. A player of his talent falling to pick 73 is a nice break for the Cowboys, but it’s even more fortuitous when he can play a position vacated by one of the team’s key free agent departures, Tyler Biadasz. Landing Beebe is fantastic, but it brings out even more satisfaction when we remind ourselves that he was taken with a pick the Cowboys didn’t have initially.

As nice as it is to think about all the great perks of scoring Beebe, this article isn’t about him. There are plenty of those out there, like this one or that one. Instead, this is about another player tied to Beebe via the trade the team pulled off and that player is new offensive tackle Tyler Guyton.

Trading back is hard to do. First, a team has to want to do it. The Cowboys love draft capital, so it should be an easy sell for them to entertain the notion of trading back and acquiring more picks. After all, they love those picks. However, they also love their board and sometimes when they are on the clock, they like a player so much that they don’t want to risk losing them. In those cases, they pass on trading back and make the pick.

But even if they want to trade back, it’s not always easy. They also need a trade partner. That can be tricky sometimes. The Cowboys were fortunate this year that the top cornerback in the draft fell and they had a team highly interested in him come calling. When Alabama corner Terrion Arnold slid, the Detroit Lions pounced, and the Cowboys were the benefactors.

For the Cowboys to move back five spots from 24 to 29, they received the Lions third-round draft pick, number 73 overall. That’s excellent value. Using the classic Jimmy Johnson trade value chart, sliding down from 24 (740 points) to 29 (640 points) is only worth 100 points, the equivalent of a third-round compensatory pick, the 100th pick overall. But the Cowboys were awarded the 73rd pick in the draft (225 points). That’s a big win for the Cowboys before mentioning that they used that pick on a player fans are already clamoring about. To put it another way…

In comparison, when the Cowboys moved back in the draft in 2013, they traded away pick 18 (900 points) for pick 31 (600 points). That should have been a 300-point gain for them that year, equivalent to a late second-round pick, the 60th overall pick.

But the Cowboys only received a third-round pick in that deal, the 74th overall pick (220 points), meaning they came out on the short end using the trade chart. The Cowboys got almost the same third-round draft capital this year for moving back five spots late in the first round than they did a decade ago when they moved back 13 spots from the middle of the draft. That speaks to how uneven each trade was from a purely point-value standpoint.

But the interesting thing about the Cowboys trading back isn’t the net value of the trade, but rather the first-round player the team ultimately “settled” for by trading back. This year, that player was Guyton. In 2013, that player was Travis Frederick.

Since Will McClay was promoted to the team’s Pro Scouting Coordinator in 2009, the Cowboys have traded back in the first round three times with Guyton and Frederick being two of them. The third happened in 2021 when the Cowboys moved back two spots from 10 to 12 to take Micah Parsons.

Why do the Cowboys trade back? In those instances, they have multiple players graded similarly, so rather than picking between them, they move back to gain extra draft capital knowing they could still get one of those guys. In 2021, they still had two top guys to choose from, Parsons and offensive tackle Rashawn Slater. You might remember Slater because Cowboys fans were divided about the Parsons pick initially. They either loved Parsons or they preferred Slater. It’s moot now. Both are All-Pros, so the Cowboys were going to win either way, but with the benefit of hindsight, we now know they chose wisely.

The interesting thing about the Cowboys’ trade-back scenarios is not the bonus pick they gained. We’re excited about Beebe, just like Terrence Williams in 2013 or Chauncey Golston in 2021. Those other guys were fine, but the real victory for the Cowboys was those first-rounders who weren’t blinking lights the team had to have when they were on the clock with their original draft pick. We know Frederick was a stud, making the Pro Bowl five straight seasons before being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome. Had that not happened, he likely would be in discussions about being a future Hall of Fame candidate. And we don’t have to sell you on what type of player Parsons is as he’s been vying for Defensive Player of the Year in all three years he’s been in the league.

Does this mean that Guyton is a sure-fire All-Pro? No. And if he follows suit and joins the club, it will just be another instance where the Cowboys lucked themselves into a stud player. And “luck” is the right word. Remember, the 2013 draft was a mess. The Cowboys didn’t know what they wanted to do when they were on the clock in the first round. There was confusion about taking defensive tackle Sharif Floyd, the top-graded player from the scouts, but their defensive coordinator at the time, Rod Marinelli, didn’t like him. Chaos ensued and the Cowboys ultimately decided to trade back and select Frederick. Whew. Bullet dodged.

And when the Cowboys were holding their breath for a top corner in 2021, they were left out of oxygen as both corners came off the board boom, boom. They went eighth and ninth in the draft, causing the Cowboys war room to call an audible. That backup plan resulted in Parsons. So again, calling them lucky is fair. That’s not to say that their evaluations of players aren’t great. Clearly, they are, but landing All-Pros with players who happened to be available in trade-back scenarios is just good fortune.

Hopefully, that good fortune continues with Guyton. He has a lot of things going for him. Not only do trade backs produce All-Pros, but the Cowboys are batting 1.000 when it comes to finding All-Pro linemen in the first round. After never selecting a first-round offensive lineman during the first 20 years of Jerry Jones ownership, the Cowboys have selected five since 2011. The previous four (Tyron Smith, Frederick, Zack Martin, and Tyler Smith) all turned into All-Pros. Let’s hope the streak continues with Guyton.


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