Dallas Cowboys Traded Herschel Walker To Vikings Four Games Into Season

Published on October 18th, 2021 2:13 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The biggest NFL in-season trade of all time happened when... There have been some very big in-season trades during the history of the NFL.

In this day and age, most of the trades happen in the off-season, though there are circumstances where there is a big deal during the season.

Some of the biggest in-season deals have involved the likes of Eric Dickerson (1987), Bobby Layne (1958) and Randy Moss (2010).

The biggest in-season deal, however, occurred when the Dallas Cowboys traded Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings in October of 1989.


In 1989, the Dallas Cowboys were really, really bad.

Jimmy Johnson was four games into his tenure as the coach of the Cowboys, and he could see that the team, in its current form, wasn't salvagable.

During a morning jog with his staff, Johnson decided that the team should trade its most valuable asset - running back Herschel Walker - and go into full rebuild mode.

The Vikings, on the other hand, were looking to make a run at a Super Bowl, and felt that they were one piece away from winning it all.

So, the Cowboys made the decision to deal Walker during the season, as they wanted to start their rebuild.

On October 12th, 1989, the Cowboys, Vikings and Chargers agreed on a massive deal that involved 18 players and draft picks.

The haul for the Cowboys was MASSIVE, as they would be four players (Jesse Solomon, David Howard, Issiac Holt, Alex Stewart) and a number of draft picks, including the Vikings' 1st round picks in 1990, 1991 and 1992.

The Vikings received Herschel Walker and four picks, including Dallas' third round selections in both 1990 and 1991.

The San Diego Chargers, on the other hand, receiving running back Darrin Nelson.


In the end, the Dallas Cowboys won the deal by a mile.

In fact, the trade has been called the "Great Trade Robbery", as the Cowboys ended up with five valuable pieces that would help the team win three Super Bowls - Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Clayton Holmes, Kevin Smith and Darren Woodson.

The Minnesota Vikings, on the other hand, did NOT go to the Super Bowl after trading for Walker.


It's unusual enough to have a trade that takes place during the regular season.

A trade of this magnitude - involving one of the top running backs in the league at the time - almost never happens.

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