Trade Grade: Cowboys Actually Manage to Downgrade From Kelvin Joseph in Deal With Dolphins

Kelvin Joseph was awful in 2022, but the Cowboys have actually managed to downgrade at cornerback with this trade.

The Cowboys trade Kelvin Joseph, but the deal was a poor one for Dallas.
The Cowboys trade Kelvin Joseph, but the deal was a poor one for Dallas. / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages
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Cowboys fans would have told you that anything they could get in exchange for Kelvin Joseph would be worth it. But Miami Dolphins fans would've said the same about Noah Igbinoghene.

So the two teams swapping these forrmer draft busts made for an interesting headline as Tuesday's roster deadline neared.

But which team actually got the upper hand here?

Cowboys Joseph-Igbinoghene Trade Grade: C-

It's not often you see a 1-for-1 trade of players at the same position, especially when they're both in the same stage of their careers.

Joseph was a 2021 draft bust of a second-round pick for the Cowboys, while Igbinoghene was a first-round bust in 2020 for the Dolphins.

Joseph played 164 defensive snaps in 10 games as a rookie, and his role decreased as a sophomore, playing 166 but across 16 games instead. What he did see was a relegation to special teams, where he played 317 snaps.

And it was easy to see why. After a promising rookie season, 2022 saw his play fall off a cliff, and Pro Football Focus gave him an absolutely egregious coverage grade of 44.1

Igbinoghene has struggled to stay healthy in Miami, but he’s up to a 603-snap sample of poor play over three seasons. His coverage grades by year have been 38.8, 53.8 and 47.4.

The Dolphins rejected Igbinoghene’s fifth-year option, so this is the final year on his contract, while Joseph is still under contract for two years (though he can be released with minimal penalty after this season).

When you're using a roster spot on a young corner who isn't very good, you're looking for potential and upside. And that makes the unknown a little more appealing.

We've seen three years of poor NFL play from Igbinoghene, we've seen what he is. He's proven consistently that he just can't hang in the pros. It's like the Maya Angelou quote: "When people show you who they are, believe them."

Joseph was bad last year, for sure. But we've also seen him play well at the NFL level, and we're really just basing his being bad on a one-year sample of struggles. There's more of a chance that he turns things around, even if it's not all that likely. Plus if he does then his contract situation is more favorable.

Trading Joseph would feel like a win in most scenarios, but this is one of the few that leaves Dallas taking an L. I give this one a C-.

The grade would've been worse, but ultimately I think the most likely scenario is stil; just that neither of them do anything. It's a poor process move, but the results probably won't matter either way.

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