Why Cowboys' Micah Parsons, Eagles' Devonta Smith are forever linked by 2021 NFL Draft

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(SN Graphics/Getty Images)

Hell froze over on the night of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Cowboys and Eagles, bitter NFC East rivals, struck a deal to swap spots in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft: The trade, which saw the Eagles trading up from No. 12 to No. 10 to select DeVonta Smith, the 2020 Heisman trophy winner, was something just short of a stunner on draft night.

Months and months of the Eagles wheeling-and-dealing in the NFL Draft saw GM Howie Roseman make one final move while the Cowboys were on the clock, with the Eagles jumping two spots — including getting in front of divisional foe New York — to select the Crimson Tide wideout.

Here's how the trade went down:

MORE: Wide receivers to win the Heisman Trophy

Micah Parsons-DeVonta Smith draft trade

The Eagles, who sat at No. 12 courtesy of the Dolphins, sent the 12th overall pick and the 84th overall pick to move up two spots to select Heisman Trophy winner, Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith. Dallas would stick at No. 12 and draft Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.

Interestingly enough, the Eagles jumped ahead of the Giants, who were selecting No. 11 overall. The Giants were reportedly smitten with Smith; Ultimately, the Bears traded up with the Giants to select quarterback Justin Fields. The Giants would slide back down to No. 20 and select Florida wideout Kadarius Toney.

Smith thought that he would have been a member of the Giants before the night was over.

"I thought Carolina was going to draft me," Smith told former NFL player Chris Long. "That’s who I thought. I knew of course the Giants, but it was all about, 'You have to get to 11.' I knew if I was there at 11, I was for sure going to the Giants."

Narrator: Smith was not there at 11.

It is early on — just two games into each players' respective career — so there's no clear winner or loser yet, and there likely never will be.

Consider this, though: Per the pick value calculator, the Eagles moving up two spots was something of a slight overpay, as is custom with trade-ups in the draft.

The Eagles lost roughly 5 percent of value trading away that third round pick to move up two spots, though it won't matter much if Smith develops into the superstar pass catcher Philadelphia believes he can be. Keeping him away from the Giants is an intangible bonus, too.

By trading back two spots, Dallas picked up a Swiss army knife of a 'backer in Parsons, and the early returns are really promising. Parsons, who wasn't particularly used as a pass rusher in his college years, has a 91.1 pass rush grade (Pro Football Focus) with a sack and three QB hits. That's probably not going to be the story for him moving forward, but he's proving his versatility early on.

Oh, and Toney has negative-2 receiving yards through his first two games with the Giants.

Oh, what could have been.

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