The first (and second) shoe has officially dropped when it comes to which teams would be the first to strike a blockbuster 2021 NFL Draft trade. The Miami Dolphins didn't wait until April 29 in Cleveland to get cooking, striking a deal with the San Francisco 49ers and then the Philadelphia Eagles to shake things up in the first round, and are reportedly being open to taking calls now on their current pick at No. 6. And while you likely won't see the Dallas Cowboys -- who own the No. 10 pick -- going full sea mammal with the draft trading, they are open to the idea of potentially making a first-round trade this year.
This is contingent upon several things having to happen, of course, and one would have to be a team making them an offer they can't refuse. It hasn't happened just yet, but their phone has been ringing, and they expect more as the witching hour approaches.
"We've already seen one trade been made, but probably where we sit it's we're starting to get a few calls," team exec Stephen Jones told 105.3FM the Fan on Monday. "And I think it will only pick up as we get closer to next Thursday. It will only pick up. They finally give you the call, 'Hey, if our guy's there, we'd be interested in moving up to the pick.'
"And maybe even want to fill out a few things like what would it take and those type of things. So, you start to get yourself in a mode where you're prepared that a particular team could call if their player [drops] -- whether it's a quarterback or an offensive lineman or a defensive player. They won't divulge that usually, which shouldn't surprise you. But they do say, 'Hey, we got a player, two, or three, that if they're there, we might be willing to be aggressive and give you something to move up to that pick.'"
Everything points at the Cowboys potentially finding themselves in a trade-down scenario,-- two of the top cornerback prospects in the country . For while , the reality is they'd probably have to trade up to grab him, which isn't impossible but is exceedingly unlikely.
for what should present a handful of impactful options, or pocketing offers for a potential trade down -- sources tell CBS Sports -- giving them an out should they find themselves in a scenario where either they're wiped out before going on the clock or able to gain more capital by moving down slightly but still remaining in position to grab a player they have their eye on but feel will still be available a few picks later.
In other words: due diligence.
And given how the chips might fall, in that quarterbacks will delete at least three of the first nine spots, the Cowboys will definitely see their share of offers from teams who see the top player on their board being available at No. 10 -- be it a quarterback or someone else. This gives Dallas a ton of leverage and, should they choose to use it, they might find themselves getting a nice haul in return.
"As you know, obviously, getting to the top of the draft is very painstaking, but once you get to pick early, it's certainly great to pick up there high in terms of what your opportunities are in terms of some real high end football players," Jones added. "And certainly with the draft pretty much unanimous there are five first-round quarterbacks, that certainly helps us out since we signed our quarterback of the future just this spring and know he's our answer to that riddle."
To that point, as far as who they could take aim at in the first round, thewas a pressure release valve for the Cowboys, freeing them up to address one of the worst defenses the franchise has ever seen. There are wild cards that could force an emergency left turn from their plan to do so initially -- e.g., Kyle Pitts, Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater falling to No. 10 -- they're not being coy about the reality of it all.
If they don't run face first at repairing their defensive unit, they could find themselves wasting another year of Prescott's abilities.
"We think we're going to get great opportunities because of the depth, not only because of quarterback, but offense in general," said Jones, not ruling out aforementioned wild card scenarios before circling back to defense. "We made no bones about it: barring some very opportunistic, we certainly want to improve our defensive football team. So, certainly the top end of that draft helps us in terms of what we might see there defensively. Like I said, you can always use help anywhere, whether it's offensive line or anywhere else.
"But certainly this should be pushing some defensive football players our direction."
It'll continue to push some trade offers in their direction as well.