In a recent segment on the FS1 program Undisputed, host Skip Bayless claims that he was privy to one of the biggest blockbuster trades in 1989. Further, Bayless claimed that he was “right in the middle” of the Cowboys‘ trade with the Minnesota Vikings that involved running back Herschel Walker.
“Jimmy [Johnson] actually came to me,” Bayless said. “It was the Saturday before the Monday trade, and asked me, ‘What if I told you I could trade Herschel Walker for a king’s ransom?’ That’s what he asked me.”
Bayless also added his response to the legendary NFL coach.
“I said, ‘Seriously?’ Because I wasn’t a big Herschel fan because he was nearing the end of his run.”
While it makes for an interesting story, there is now dispute over the validity of Bayless’ claim.
Former Dallas Cowboys HC Jimmy Johnson Denies Claim
A fan on Twitter shared video of the interaction between Bayless and fellow host Shannon Sharpe, with added comments saying that he couldn’t believe Johnson would share that level of info with a reporter.
It turns out that hunch is correct, because Johnson responded in turn.
“Never said this!” the now-broadcaster replies. In this scenario, it becomes a “he-said, he-said,” and it isn’t quite clear who is telling the truth and who is saving face.
Bayless was one of the most successful NFL reporters at the time, so it’s not impossible to think he was close to the inner workings of the mega-deal, which ended up seeing Herschel Walker traded to the Vikings for five players.
But, on the other hand, Johnson was the one actually working for the Cowboys in the trade. Either way, it’s interesting that Johnson was quick to refute the claim, even about an NFL trade that is now three decades passed.