After losing NFL Offensive Player of the Year DeMarco Murray to the Eagles in free agency, the Cowboys are on the lookout for a replacement at running back. The addition of former Raider Darren McFadden notwithstanding, Dallas seems likely to add an RB via the draft, and according to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (Twitter link), Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon appears to be the club’s top target.
The Cowboys hold the 27th pick in the first round, so as Pauline suggests, they might need to trade up if they want to select Gordon. PFR’s Rob DiRe and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. both have Gordon going off the board to the Cardinals at pick No. 24, while Kiper’s colleague Todd McShay doesn’t have Gordon being drafted in the first round. But the general consensus seems to be that Gordon will be picked somewhere after the 20th pick, so to be safe, the Cowboys might need to move up, at least ahead of Arizona.
If Dallas wanted to move up to the 23rd pick (one spot ahead of Arizona), which is currently held by the Lions, they’d have to give up a mid-round selection to do so. Using Chase Stuart of Football Perspective’s draft pick calculator, the Cowboys would need to sacrifice a fifth-round pick to trade up to No. 23. Per Jimmy’s Johnson’s value chart, Dallas would probably need to trade either a third- or a fourth-round pick.
Gordon was the NCAA’s leading rusher in 2014, totaling more than 2,500 yards on the ground while scoring 29 touchdowns. He finished second to Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota in last year’s Heisman race.