Revisiting the Dorsett Trade

Discussion in 'History Zone' started by DavyBaby, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. DavyBaby

    DavyBaby Active Member

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    You know I've been hearing for years how we ripped off Seattle in the Dorsett trade of 1977. Some Seattle fans even argue a conspiracy theory, that Seattle head coach Jack Patera (Former Cowboy) was doing his old employer a favor etc.

    Some Cowboy-zoners have argued that a failed 1988 trade with Seattle was a form of revenge by the Seahawks:
    "The Dorsett heist was a sore spot for the Seahawks for a number of years, and one that they got a small measure of revenge for. In 1988, the Cowboys were in dire need of a left tackle, and made a trade with Seattle in the preseason for Ron Essink for a fifth round pick. Essink played in one preseason game for Dallas, and then retired. Word had it that the Seahawks were well aware of Essink's desire to quit, but made the trade anyway to stick it to Tex Schramm and Gil Brandt."

    That might very well be true . . . . However, if one uses the modern draft pick point value chart. Dallas made a "fair trade" with Seattle.

    Dallas got the second overall pick = 2600 points
    Seattle got the 14th (1100) 31st (600) 41nd (490) and 54th (360) picks = 2550 points.

    Seattle, being a expansion franchise was not well positioned to feature Dorsett anyway. The extra picks could have been used to help build a broader foundation for their team. The real problem was the poor drafting made by the Seahawks. They used their picks to acquire:

    1. Steve August?
    2. Terry Beeson?
    2. Traded pick to Buffalo for ? (never could track it down) The Rams ended up with the pick and drafted Nolan Cromwell (good pick).
    2. Traded pick (back) to Dallas for WR Duke Ferguson (?).

    There were several great players they could have drafted in those slots:
    Lester Hayes
    Stanley Morgan
    A. J. Duhe
    Ezra Johnson
    Nolan Cromwell
    Tony Hill
    Joe Klecko
    Wilbert Montgomery
    Herman Edwards

    Finally, a key question is whether Dorsett could have been a HOF player playing for Seattle. I doubt it.

    So the trade was not a rip off in conception. It was fair value that could have greatly benefitted Seattle if they had made good use of the draft picks. For instance, The Herschel Walker trade was **great** because Dallas used the picks wisely.

    End of (historical) rant!
    jobberone and OhSnap like this.
  2. OhSnap

    OhSnap Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I knew there was a trade for Dorsett. I suspect Seattle was one of the teams that used a magazine to grade players back then. I bet if you could find a 1977 copy of PFW or some other magazine you could find the players they picked rated high?
  3. DavyBaby

    DavyBaby Active Member

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    Actually, the trade wasn't for Dorsett per se, it was for the second overall draft pick that Seattle possessed. Dorsett was seen as the best player coming out of college that year, but Tampa Bay (holding the number 1 pick that year) was determined to pick Ricky Bell (Tampa Bay's coach, John McKay had coached him in college at USC).

    Thus, Dorsett was widely seen as the 2nd player to be chosen (by Seattle if they had held on to the 2nd pick).

    I hope that makes sense!

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