Dallas, TX (UHND.com) — The NFL Network aired footage from inside some teams war rooms this past weekend, including the Dallas Cowboys’ as they called Anthony Fasano to tell him they were making him the 53rd pick. Dallas owner Jerry Jones stated that Fasano should be used to their terminology since it’s the same that he used at Notre Dame. Now, while I despise the Cowboys, hearing those words out of Jones’ mouth should let ND fans know just how far the program has come in the last year.
While Willingham and Deidrick were running the offense at Notre Dame the only teams that could claim to use the same terminology were from the Pop Warner and Pee-Wee ranks. A year after Weis has taken over, the Irish offense is on par scheme wise with NFL teams.
Fasano will fit in beautifully with the Cowboys despite Dallas already have an accomplished tight end in Jason Witten. Witten, also on the NFL Network coverage this weekend, welcomed the talented New Jersey native as the Cowboys look to use a two tight end set more this season.
The most frequent comparisons for Fasano are to Mark Bavaro who just happens to have gone to Notre Dame and play for Bill Parcells. Parcells, the coach who gave Weis his break into the NFL, likes to use multiple tight ends and has had good success with tight ends in the past such as Baravo.
Fasano is a well rounded tight end who can do it all. He won’t blow by linebackers like a Jeremy Shockey, but he also won’t drop passes as frequently as the former Hurricane tight end. He will however get open and make a lot of catches for the Cowboys and he will be able to block from the get go.
Despite most Draft experts who don’t do their home work, Fasano was a senior this past year and was not a junior who left early. He did have an extra year of eligibility that he could have used but he was on pace to graduate and could not have done too much to increase his draft position with another year. Fasano lacks the speed of a Vernon Davis who is simply a freak of nature so cracking the first round, even with another big year would have been hard to accomplish.
Fasano must be loving his decision to not come back for a fifth year after going to a familiar system with a team on the rise. The Cowboys signed Terrell Owens in the offseason (I’ll reserve my distain for the flamboyant wide receiver this time) and have a rising star in Julius Jones, another former Domer, at running back. Their quarterback, Drew Bledsoe looks like he has at least another decent year in him which should make the Dallas offense down right explosive in 2006.
This pick also shows the kind of NFL connection Notre Dame can sell to recruits now. Part of the reason the Cowboys selected Fasano when they did was because he was familiar with their terminology since it’s the same that the Irish use with Weis. The past six or seven years Notre Dame simply couldn’t sell this kind of NFL connection to recruits.