NFL Media’s ‘The Trade: 10-12-89’ Remembers The Landmark Herschel Walker Trade

In-Depth Series Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Trade That Laid the Foundation for the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty of the 1990s

First Segment of 5-Part Feature ‘The Trade: 10-12-89’ Premieres Today on NFL Network, & NFL Now

In the history of the National Football League, no player trade has been larger than the Herschel Walker trade of October 12, 1989. Involving a total of 18 players and draft picks, the trade sent the Pro Bowl running back of the Dallas Cowboys to the Minnesota Vikings, ultimately changing the fortunes of two franchises. The Cowboys went on to win three Super Bowls in four years and solidify their status as the dynasty of the 1990s, while the Vikings failed to advance further than the divisional round of the playoffs.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the historic trade, NFL Media has produced a five-part multiplatform experience, The Trade: 10-12-89, an in-depth look at the early life and career of Walker, highlighting the monumental trade and its lasting impact on the NFL. The first segment of The Trade: 10-12-89 will air today and continue daily on NFL AM and NFL Total Access throughout the week. The final segment airs Monday, October 13 on NFL Network.

Following the premiere of The Trade: 10-12-89 on NFL Network, the first segment – along with the entire series – will be available digitally on and NFL Now, the League’s next-generation video service. Additionally, exclusive to NFL Now, users can access a 1-on-1 interview between NFL Media’s Michael Silver and former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson (1989-93).

The Trade: 10-12-89, delves into the stories surrounding the October 12, 1989 trade that ultimately spawned the Dallas Cowboys dynasty of the 1990s. Among the highlights and topics discussed in The Trade: 10-12-89 are:

  • NFL Media’s Andrea Kremer interviews with Emmitt Smith, Darrin Nelson and David Howard
  • NFL Media’s Mark Kriegel interview with Jerry Jones
  • NFL Network analyst and Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin interview with Herschel Walker
  • NFL Media’s Steve Cyphers explores the legend of Herschel Walker though his childhood friends and family
  • NFL Media’s Judy Battista’s written overview of the trade and how it happened
  • Oral history told by Herschel Walker, Jerry Jones, Jimmy Johnson, Emmitt Smith, Darrin Nelson, David Howard, Steve Jordan and Jerry Burns
  • Herschel’s early life and legacy in his hometown of Wrightsville, Georgia
  • What led Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson and team owner Jerry Jones to think of and go through with the trade
  • The fall out of the trade for the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, the NFL, and players involved

The Trade: 10-12-89 includes interviews with the following people and more:

Herschel Walker

Christine Walker – Herschel’s mother

Vince Dooley – College coach, University of Georgia

Emmitt Smith – Dallas Cowboys running back, 1990-2002

Darren Woodson – Dallas Cowboys safety, 1992-2004

David Howard – Dallas Cowboys linebacker, 1989-90

Darrin Nelson – Running back traded by Cowboys to Chargers in 1989

Jimmy Johnson – Dallas Cowboys head coach 1989-93

Steve Jordan – Minnesota Vikings tight end, 1982-94

Michael Irvin – Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, 1988-99

Jerry Jones – Owner, President, General Manager of Dallas Cowboys

Provided below are some select quotes from The Trade: 10-12-89:

 “For Herschel Walker the Vikings gave up nothing they (couldn’t) afford to lose. It’s a textbook example of how the strong fleece the weak in a blockbuster trade. All they had to do is find somebody dumb enough to fall for it.” – Jimmy Johnson reading an article that Randy Galloway wrote in 1989

– “… In those days, they didn’t give (the Heisman Trophy) to a freshman. They felt you had to earn it over a career… I think he would’ve had a very, very good chance of winning it with the current voters as opposed to the voters in 1980.” – Vince Dooley 

– “We looked at it like they’re wearing our Super Bowl rings… That could have been some of the talent that we could have gotten and because Mike made this trade we are now looking at them… winning these Super Bowls and we are literally just trying to survive.” – Steve Jordan

– “One of the things I learned in life, you never regret. I don’t look back… But I was happy for (the Cowboys)… It ain’t (the Cowboy players’) faults that my team didn’t do what it was supposed to have done.”– Herschel Walker

– “The life that I have right now, I would say has been off of the back of Herschel Walker. Because I didn’t have anything to do with any of this stuff outside of playing a part in a well-scripted movie that turned out very well for the Dallas Cowboys and for me.” – Emmitt Smith

– “It is a real lesson: if you’re going to take some risks and suffer the consequences, then you can do a lot in this league.” – Jerry Jones

Providing fans access to the largest digital library of NFL video anywhere, NFL Now dynamically personalizes each fan’s viewing experience, allowing them to follow their favorite NFL teams and players, as well as access original NFL content, such as The Trade: 10-12-89, Finding Giants, and A Football Life. Visit for more information.

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