Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Apr 2008

Cowboys Trade Ayodele, Fasano To Dolphins

This is a weird trade from the Cowboys' perspective, dealing a starting linebacker and a valuable blocking tight end for a fourth-round pick. The linked ESPN article says that it opens a spot for Zach Thomas, but assuming Thomas gets hurt, the real person it opens up a spot for is Bobby Carpenter.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 25 Apr 2008

24 comments, Last at 27 Apr 2008, 4:50am by Temo


by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 12:02am

I was thinking the same thing, actually.

I know neither Fasano or Ayodele are elite players by any stretch of the imagination, but both are pretty solid players, and I think any time a 1-15 team can get two solid players in exchange for a fourth round draft pick, I think that's a good move.

I don't see why the Cowboys made this deal. Neither of these two would have been roster casualties, and it's hard to see that fourth round pick having that much value.

I will say this: They will probably regret this move big-time when / if Thomas gets hurt.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 12:04am

Trading Ayodele isn't all that weird, but trading Fasano is. They have their uses for him, he's young, and they got him recently, and all of a sudden they send him away? Why?

by podpeople (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 12:17am

re 2
because jason witten is secretly a machine and they count on him playing both tight ends in two TE sets next year?

by MarkV (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 12:34am

Can NFL deals include cash? cause if there isnt something else involved, the dolphins got obsurd value.

by Yakuza Rich (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 1:02am

Fasano played about 10 downs a year and wasn't going to play anymore than that if Witten stayed healthy and essentially they could get Tony Curtis to do the same thing. I don't think it's a good move, but I think I'm more perturbed about Dallas drafting Fasano in the 2nd round anyway, which was more or less an experiment pick by Parcells (wanting to go to a 2 TE scheme) that never came close to working out.

by Yakuza Rich (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 1:03am

That should say "10 downs a game last year" when it comes to Fasano.

by Len (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 1:25am

Another perspective:

With Thomas taking over the starting WILB spot, Ayodele became a very expensive 30-yr old backup. They've already got Burnett in that role, which means he became a cap problem. My guess is their plan is to draft a ILB in rounds 4-5 to replace him on the cheap.

On Fasano, a couple of theories: one is Garrett is moving them away from 2 TE and back to a traditional running attack with a FB. Another is, as a second TE, he's primarily a blocker, but his blocking was always suspect. Combine that with off season shoulder surgery, and he was no longer a good fit. He'll do well I think for Parcells as a pass catching TE, but Dallas can get a rookie blocking TE in the draft if they need one.

by James, London (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 5:11am

As a Dolphins fan, I like this. Both will start in Miami, and 2 starters for a 4th rounder is very good value.

by Theo, Netherlands (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 6:42am

What do the Cowboys think they get with that 4th rounder?

by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 8:56am

I'm not sure why one would trade a 30-year-old LB to make room for a 35-year-old LB who has played his entire career in a different defense, but I didn't understand it when they signed Thomas in the first place.

Maybe the Cowboys are planning to trade up and need that 4th rounder as part of the deal? If, as has been the rumor, Jones really is after McFadden, he'll have to go as high as #6 and maybe up to #4 and that will take a lot of firepower. On the other hand, if I'm the Jets or Raiders I'd rather have Fasano and Adoyle than a 4th-rounder. Strange move.

by Andy (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 9:43am

When was the last time a 4th round pick was traded for TWO players?

This whole thing is odd to me.

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 9:48am

I agree with the general sentiment here, which seems pretty obvious: couldn't Jerry Jones at least get a second pick included in the deal - even if it were just to be something like a 2009 fifth rounder?

On the other hand, the fact that it's the first pick of the fourth round and the 100th pick overall, takes some of the stink out. It does now give Dallas five top-100 picks.

You could also look at it as if they traded Fasano and Ayodele for Pacman Jones and in the process moved up from the back of the fourth round to the top of it. Put that way, it doesn't sound so bad.

Beyond that: what Len said: I believe Burnett will likely backup Thomas, not Carp. Burnett's is in a contract year and Dallas really needs to see if he can contribute more than as their nickel-package linebacker. And getting rid of Carp would mean taking a cap hit, whereas trading Ayodele freed up a few dollars ($500,000 according to the DMN blog).

Ayodele really wasn't a good fit in the Phillips 34, but he played well for most of the second half of 2006 in Parcells's defense, which relies more on size and strength than speed.

And what Yakuza said: Fasano was a reach as a second round pick. Even though there's not a great tight end PROSPECT in this draft, I think it's deep with very good mid-round prospecs, such as Martin Rucker, Kellen Davis, Brad Cottam, Craig Stevens, Martellus Bennett - all of whom could easily step in and contribute as much (as little) as Fasano did.

You know, I feel much better about this trade after writing this. But I still say Jerry should have gotten another pick, even if it were just a late-round consolation thrown in.

by Lo Pan (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 10:07am

I have to say i agree. We should have got another pick but we did not lose much and if Pacman contribues at all no one will remember this trade.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 11:37am

Hey this is a Dolphins- related thread, so I'll bounce lunatic notions around here as well. I will be completely nuts, and propose that the Vikings use their 2nd round pick this year, along with maybe a 2nd day pick next year, or more, to try to trade for Jason Taylor, assuming their cap can handle Taylor’s salary for the next couple of years. Yes, this is a go for broke strategy, and Parcells may demand more, but the prospect of fielding perhaps the best front four since the ’70s Steelers should not be dismissed lightly.

The DE rotation in particular would just be crushing on opposing offensive lines, because Edwards, and quite possibly Robison, are going to be better than average pass rushers on a part time basis, assuming Edwards’ performance to date has not been too steroids related. Allen and Taylor would not get worn down, and enter the 4th quarter fresh, especially given the Williams tackles crushing opponents’ running games. Vikings fans could be looking at a team like the ‘00 Ravens, where qb play is not significant to winning a championship.

by Postal RAge (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 2:15pm

these players all suck

by Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabbadu (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 3:16pm

#14: Like the 2000 Ravens - minus a dominating secondary, of course. Plus, even the 2000 Ravens needed a generous helping of luck in the playoffs (2 return TDs against the Titans, 96 yard TD against the Raiders when the safety misplayed the ball).

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 4:02pm

Everybody needs luck Joey. I'd say a front four of the two Williams, Allen, and Taylor would be better than the Ravens defensive line.

by Brandon (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 6:29pm

The Ayodele move was a cap move as much as anything else. They can't move Carpenter because getting rid of him would actually cost them money on the salary cap. With Ayodele, they don't save much, but at least its something--especially at a position they have a lot of money invested in. There was speculation that he'd be cut outright, so at least they got something for him.

Fasano I guess they viewed as expendable with the development of Tony Curtis last year. I wouldn't be surprised to see them go after a TE later in the draft though.

All that said, a 4th for both of them favors the Dolphins. All the same though, as a Cowboys fan I don't really feel too bad since Ayodele was on the outside looking in anyways and Fasano is easily replaceable.

by FullMoonOverTulsa (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 8:53pm

Now Dallas spends a second on a TE. Unbelievable.

by Temo (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 9:13pm

Ayodele was almost certainly going to be a cap-related release anyway. Tony Curtis will probably be a better pass catching TE than Fasano and they recently drafted a project TE in the late 2nd round.

They didn't really give up much for what amounts to the first pick of the 4th round, or the last pick of the 3rd round during most drafts.

by staubach (not verified) :: Sat, 04/26/2008 - 10:49pm

Parcells: We'll give you a fourth for Ayodele.

Jones: Well, you're close- but give us something more.

Parcells: We'll also take Fasano and his contract off your hands so you can draft a TE that can actually run and block.

Jones: Deal!

by johonny (not verified) :: Sun, 04/27/2008 - 12:52am

8- I agree two guys that can clearly win jobs in Miami for a 4th. Dolphins get a 4th back moving Booker. Which I guess means Williams isn't smoking weed?

by thestar5 (not verified) :: Sun, 04/27/2008 - 1:33am

Yeah, pretty puzzling move. Ayodele was gonna get cut anyway but we should have gotten more.

by Temo (not verified) :: Sun, 04/27/2008 - 4:50am

Jerry Jones on the trade:

"I hadn't had a chance to sit down with Akin since Zach Thomas (arrived) but I knew I was going to," Jones said. "And when I sat down with him I knew he was going to say 'Give me a chance to go play' because he knew the crowd (at linebacker). So frankly, not to take anything away from Akin, but that deal was done totally around Fasano."

Like I said, losing Akin isn't much at all. Fasano was the centerpiece and he's a back up tight end for a near 3rd round pick. Not a bad trade, I'd say.