NFL: What team did Herschel Walker play for?
The United States Football league was an organization that attempted to rival the NFL. The club played for only three seasons from 1983 through 1985.
The USFL rules (unlike the NFL at the time) allowed athletes to turn professional after their junior seasons instead of waiting for their collegiate class to graduate a year later.
Their rules allowed the athletes to choose where to play, allowing them to maximize their endorsement income.
Herschel Walker won the USFL rushing title in 1983 and 1985. He held their record for single-season rushing yards with 2,411 yards in 1985, averaging 5.50 yards per attempt in 18 games. Throughout his USFL career, Walker had attracted the attention of the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL.
Dallas Cowboys picked Herschel Walker in the 1985 NFL Draft
The Cowboys suspected the USFL would not last long and acquired Herschel Walker in the NFL by selecting him as a fifth-round pick, 114 overall, in the 1985 NFL draft.
Dallas predictions were not wrong, and the USFL fell after a fruitless lawsuit with the NFL.
The Cowboys signed Herschel Walker as a fullback and helped Tony Dorsett shoulder the responsibilities of backfield duties.
Herschel Walker moved around between three different complaint positions, running back, fullback, and a wide receiver; he was also upset that Dorsett had more carries. In 1987 he voiced his complaint before finally taking over as the teams starting running back, playing in games, starting in 11. He put up 891 rushing yards, 715 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns.
Walker had made a name for himself as a premier NFL running back in 1988. He became a one-person offense, reaching his NFL career high of 1,514 rushing yards and 505 receiving yards while simultaneously playing seven different positions.
Walker became the 10th player in NFL history to accumulate more than 2,000 combined rushing and receiving yards in a season. Meanwhile, he obtained two Pro Bowls in 1987 and 1988.
At the height of Herschel Walker's career, he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for a total of five players and six future draft picks.
The trade was the turning point for the Cowboys' as they rose and the Vikings' declined despite Walker's fantastic debut against the Green Bay Packers. He had the best rushing game that the Vikings had seen and the first over-100 yard rushing performance by a Viking by gaining 148 yards on 18 carries. However, he could not carry the same momentum forward.
After three seasons with Minnesota, he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. that year, he produced his best season yet, becoming the first NFL player to have one-play gains of 90 or more yards rushing, receiving in a single season. He stayed three seasons with the Eagles.
In 1995, Herschel Walker signed with the New York Giants for a three-year contract worth $4.8 million as a third-down back. However, he didn't play too well in this role and he couldn't play fullback because of his limited blocking skills. He was with the Giants for one season before finishing his football career with the team that he started with, the Cowboys.
In 1996, he rejoined the franchise as a kickoff return specialist and third-down back. He also played fullback, but mainly as a ball-handler instead of a blocker. Herschel Walker retired at the end of the 1997 season.