The Dallas Cowboys recently picked up an extra draft pick for the 2020 draft with a 5th round compensatory pick. How do teams get compensatory picks? It basically comes down to the quantity and quality of the free agents that leave the team the previous year.

The team that received the most compensatory picks for the 2020 draft was the New England Patriots. Getting compensatory picks and using them well is something the Bill Belichick of the Patriots has mastered. He's willing to let the high profile, high cost free agents walk and go to another team. This not only keeps the payroll down, but gives the Patriots more draft picks.

The compensatory pick the Cowboys picked up is a fifth round pick. The highest overall compensatory pick was assigned to the Houston Texans in the 2020 draft. They're pick is a third rounder, number 97 overall.

Up until a few years ago (2017) teams couldn't trade their compensatory picks. So if they wanted trade bait, they had to use the picks they already had.