Better Trades Sports

Best Trades - Herschel Walker for 8 Draft Picks

One of the better trades that ever occurred in the National Football League helped turn the Dallas Cowboys from also-rans to the league's dominant team.

It took place in 1989, four games into the season, a better trade that orchestrated by new Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson and centered around Dallas running back Herschel Walker. Dallas traded Walker and four draft picks to the Vikings for five players and eight draft picks, including their first-round selection for the next three years. It was the largest trade in the history of the NFL.

The veterans received by the Cowboys were linebackers Jesse Solomon and David Howard, cornerback Issiac Holt, defensive end Alex Stewart and running back Darrin Nelson. The draft picks were used on Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Kevin Smith and Darren Woodson. Three of the picks were traded by the Cowboys. Nelson balked at the trade, refused to report to the Cowboys (who were horrible at the time) and was traded to San Diego.

Simply getting Smith for Walker would have been one of the better trades. The University of Florida rookie finished his career as one of the greatest running backs in league history with 18,355 yards rushing and 175 total touchdowns. He is one of only four players in the NFL to gain more than 21,000 yards and one of two non-kickers to score more than 1,000 career points.

Woodson was chosen to five Pro Bowls and is the team's all-time tackler with 1,350 career stops. Solomon and Holt were All-Pro level players and Stewart was on the injured reserve list with a broken wrist.

Walker didn't play badly in Minnesota, but there was little he could do to live up to the trade. He failed to gain 1,000 yards in two seasons with the Vikings and couldn't help the team get to the Super Bowl it sought so fiercely. He finished his career with Philadelphia and the New York Giants before being reacquired by Dallas.

In 2008 it was chosen by Sports Illustrated as the worst sports trade of all time. Unless you're a Dallas Cowboy; then it belongs in the better trades Hall of Fame.