The NFL handed out their annual compensatory draft picks for the 2013 NFL Draft yesterday and the Dallas Cowboys did not receive any additional picks from the league. The Houston Texans were given the highest pick, in the third round at number 95 overall, and the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons each received the most picks with four apiece.
So why did the Cowboys get shut out? Last offseason the Cowboys signed seven players in free agency and didn’t lose as many players with as much playing time as they signed. The formula is broken down on NFL.com as follows:
Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks. Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors.
In other words, the Cowboys signed better players than they lost last offseason, so they won’t receive any compensation for losing players last year because the players they signed were better than the players they lost. By this reasoning, the Cowboys should be set-up to gain a few extra picks next year because they will lose more than a few players in free agency and aren’t likely to sign many players this offseason. John Phillips has already moved on, while Felix Jones and Mike Jenkins are sure to leave as well, giving the Cowboys a good shot at adding picks for next year’s draft.
These picks may not be high draft picks but as history will tell you, the more picks you have, the better your odds are at drafting a good player. So while the Cowboys got shut out this year, they are likely to receive compensatory picks in 2014 and it’s never too early to begin thinking about next year’s draft.