Web Posted: 10/14/2009 12:00 CDT You Got Schooled: That was kind of a big deal
By Chris Ferrell - Express-News commentary Herschel Walker's 1989 trade to the Vikings is the benchmark for lopsided deals and helped the Cowboys build a dynasty in Dallas. Twenty years ago this week, the Dallas Cowboys sent Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings in a deal that helped set the table for an incredible run of three Super Bowl titles in four years.
In retrospect, the transaction engineered by Jimmy Johnson (which eventually grew into an 18-player deal) looks about as one-sided as the Lufthansa heist orchestrated by Robert De Niro’s Jimmy Conway character in the movie “Goodfellas.”
It seems safe to say we’ll never see a trade quite like that again. But the general idea of a bad team trading away its most valuable commodity to help jumpstart the rebuilding process can still be effective. Here are some suggestions for a handful of the league’s current bottom dwellers, but be warned: Nobody wants to be on the Vikings’ end of such a swap, so they’ll certainly try to lowball you: Cleveland Browns
What could they trade? Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas is the type of player who can anchor an offensive line for another decade. But the Browns could have still completed just two of 17 passes against the Bills with Heather Thomas protecting Derek Anderson’s blindside.
Our opening offer: A Tim Couch bobble head, an angry rant from Jim Brown and a photo of the winning touchdown on “The Drive” autographed by both Mark Jackson and John Elway. Kansas City Chiefs
What could they trade? The Chiefs have a pair of talented, young defensive linemen in Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson. As Miles Austin showed, turning one of them into a couple of picks to bolster the secondary may have a greater impact.
Our opening offer: The adoration of Wade Phillips, who doesn’t have to worry about changing his title from “embattled head coach” to “former head coach” after the Cowboys escaped Kansas City with a victory heading into their bye week. St. Louis Rams
What could they trade? Running back Steven Jackson has some wear and tear, but he’s actually a year younger than the similarly versatile Walker at the time of the trade — and has about 500 fewer professional carries at the same point in their careers.
Our opening offer: Approval of Rush Limbaugh’s ownership bid, and loads of free publicity that has nothing to do with a winless record. Al Sharpton doesn’t seem to care that the Rams are 5-32 since 2007. Tennessee Titans
What could they trade? Cornerback Cortland Finnegan and running back Chris Johnson are dynamic young playmakers on a roster with many needs. Veteran linebacker Keith Bulluck could star on any team, but at 32, wouldn’t bring much in return.
Our opening offer: A framed Jay Cutler Vanderbilt jersey with a friendly reminder that the local college star was in the green room when the team took Vince Young in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft just to spite fans in Houston. Oakland Raiders
What could they trade? Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is one of the best cover men in the NFL, but you may not have heard of him since he’s stuck in Oakland’s black hole. Darren McFadden could also be a special player on a lot of teams.
Our opening offer: A Life Alert pendant for Al Davis and a starring role for him in the company’s new commercial where he gets to recite the all-too-true line “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up.” Pop Quiz 1. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia blamed the grounds crew at Fenway Park after Boston was swept in the first round of the American League playoffs:
A) Complaining that the stadium has the worst infield in the big leagues
B) Because it was probably easier than blaming his .167 batting average during the three losses 2. The worst call by MLB umpires during the playoffs has been:
A) Ruling a fair line drive by the Twins’ Joe Mauer foul in Game 2 against the Yankees
B) Saying the Phillies’ Chase Utley was safe at first in Game 3 against the Rockies
C) The one to former NBA referee Tim Donaghy to see if he knew of any ways that they could make some easy money 3. Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino said he would handle a situation involving two of his players at an Indiana restaurant internally:
A) After charges of battery, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest were filed against them following a fight
B) By explaining that there are more fun things they can do to get themselves in trouble at a restaurant 4. New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said, “We made that quarterback look like Dan Marino,” while discussing:
A) His defense’s inability to slow Miami’s Chad Henne, who was 20 of 26 for 241 yards and two scores in Monday’s victory
B) A phone call that helped Oakland’s JaMarcus Russell land a role in a NutriSystem commercial 5. Deion Sanders tried his best to offer proof this week that:
A) There was nothing inappropriate about his meeting with suspended Oklahoma State star Dez Bryant
B) He had no knowledge of tampering involving Michael Crabtree, whom he advised, during the former Texas Tech star’s holdout
C) He can still make life tough for receivers You Got Schooled: That was kind of a big deal