RICHMOND- It’s been thirty years since the Minnesota Vikings mortgaged their future for a running back.
In 1989, the Twin Cities faithful, believing they were one player away from the Super Bowl, traded a boatload of draft picks to the Dallas Cowboys.
What they got in return was the lone star from Texas, running back Herschel Walker. The transaction overall, thanks to the Vikings side of the deal, resulted in 18 players and draft picks.
The Cowboys reaped with the benefits from the trade and eventually built a dynasty. People forget however that at the time of the deal, the Cowboys were one of the worst teams in the league. They went 1-15 in 1989 and had traded away their best player.
Meanwhile, the Vikings believed that Walker was the missing piece they needed to make a Super Bowl run. Thus, Minnesota and general manager Mike Lynn were perceived as having got the better part.
The Vikings had been to the NFC Championship in 1987 and were seen as one of the strongest teams in the league. The Cowboys were viewed as the doormat
New Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson saw that his team needed more talent and knew that Walker could help the team win, without being on the roster.
At first, the Cleveland Browns wished to take Walker and offered a large sum themselves, but Johnson eventually found the Vikings as the better partner.
In exchange, Dallas traded Walker, a 1990 3rd round pick, a 10th round pick in 1990, and a 1991 3rd round pick.
The San Diego Chargers became the unknown 3rd team in the real, garnering RB Darrin Nelson while giving the Cowboys a 5th round pick that was also given to the Vikings.
What did Minnesota give? 5 players and