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Cowboys receive league-high four compensatory draft picks in 2021

Mike Florio and Chris Simms look at all the key franchise tag decisions around the league and what it could mean once free agency gets going next week.

The NFL announced its 2021 compensatory draft picks, which now include special compensatory picks rewarding teams for developing minority coaches and executives.

The selections this year are from the third to sixth rounds. With the CBA limiting the number of compensatory selections to the number of clubs in the league at 32, there were seven teams that qualified for a pick but did not receive it in the Falcons, Bears, Colts, Vikings, Eagles, Steelers, and Buccaneers. But only Indianapolis did not receive a selection at all because its free agent lost was ranked 33rd or lower in the formula used to generate picks.

The Cowboys have a league-high four compensatory draft picks in 2021, with one each in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth round. Dallas lost Byron Jones, Robert Quinn, Randall Cobb, Xavier Su’a-Filo, and Jeff Heath, and Jason Witten last year in free agency.

There were five special compensatory selections awarded at the end of the third round — one for the 49ers, one for the Rams, one for the Ravens, and one for the Saints. Those each stem from another team hiring a minority from their organization to be either a head coach or General Manager. The NFL initially announced an incorrect number for San Francisco’s special selections with two this year instead of one. With Robert Saleh becoming the Jets head coach and Martin Mayhew becoming Washington’s G.M., San Francisco will receive a special compensatory selection for each of the next three years.

The Falcons and Packers each have three regular compensatory picks. The Panthers, Bears, Chiefs, Rams, Vikings, Patriots, Saints, and Eagles have two. The Ravens, Chargers, Steelers, 49ers, Buccaneers, and Titans have one.

The regular third-round picks went to the Patriots (No. 96), Chargers (No. 96), Saints (No. 98), Cowboys (No. 99), Titans (No. 100), and Rams (No. 101).

The special compensatory selections went to the 49ers (No. 102), Rams (No. 103), Ravens (No. 104), and Saints (No. 105).

The fourth-round selections went to the Cowboys (No. 138), Patriots (No. 139), Steelers (No. 140), Rams (No. 141), Packers (No. 142), Vikings (No. 143), and Chiefs (No. 144).

The fifth-round selections went to the Packers (No. 177), Cowboys (No. 178), Falcons (No. 179), 49ers (No. 180), Chiefs (No. 181), Falcons (No. 182), and Ravens (No. 183).

And the sixth-round selections went to the Buccaneers (No. 216), Saints (No. 217), Falcons (No. 218), Packers (No. 219), Bears (No. 220), Panthers (No. 221), Vikings (No. 222), Eagles (No. 223 and No. 224), Panthers (No. 225), Cowboys (No. 226), and Bears (No. 227).

Since 1994, the Ravens lead the league with 53 compensatory selections of the 876 awarded.