But the jubilant Crows have described it as 'a really fair deal'.
Adelaide list manager Justin Reid also said they never raised the prospect of Sydney losing Dawson for nothing during their trade negotiations.
If Sydney did not reach a trade with the Crows, Dawson could have returned to his home state via the pre-season draft.
Adelaide gave up a future first-round draft pick, tied to Melbourne, to secure Dawson.
The Swans made it clear they are unhappy about losing the 24-year-old utility, who finished third in this season's club best and fairest voting.
Dawson has played 64 games and shapes as a significant boost for the rebuilding Crows.
'We worked extremely hard to reach a fair outcome in regard to Jordan, despite challenging circumstances,' Sydney football manager Charlie Gardiner said in a club statement.
'Ultimately, we have settled on