The Cowboys seem to be allergic when it comes to 5th-round picks in the NFL Draft. In 19 of their 62 drafts, they have traded away their pick in the fifth round.
But when they have picked a player in the fifth, they've made it count.
Nowhere is that more apparent than in 1985.
The Cowboys took a flyer that spring on a player who hadn't been in college for two years but had been playing in the USFL.
Herschel Walker would rush for over 2,400 yards for the New Jersey Generals that spring and not even join the Cowboys until the 1986 season after the USFL folded.
But the gamble paid off.
Walker eventually became the starting running back and would pile up nearly 3,300 yards in 49 games — 41 as a starter. But his biggest payoff for Dallas would come after the fifth game of the 1989 season.
The Greatest Theft In NFL History
Dallas sent Herschel Walker and three draft picks (two thirds and a tenth) to Minnesota and in return, Dallas received four players and eight draft picks.
The trade also involved the Chargers, who got Running Back Darrin Nelson from the Vikings in exchange for San Diego's fifth-round pick in 1990.
The Picks the Cowboys got were turned into three key cogs in their dynasty run: Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, and Darren Woodson.
At the time, Minnesota was thought to have won the deal and local Dallas media sharply criticized it.
History says the Cowboys robbed the Vikings blind.
Picks Aided 1970s Title Teams
The round has produced some quality players for Dallas over the decades.
Walt Garrison (1964) and Blaine Nye (1968) helped fuel Dallas' success in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Ron Springs was selected in 1979 and was a huge complement to Tony Dorsett in the 1980s.
Oddly enough, considering how often Dallas shed its fifth-rounders, the Cowboys made four picks in the fifth round of last year's draft.
The jury is still out on how wisely they picked.
The Dallas Cowboys' all-time fifth-round picks:
1961 No Pick
1962 No Pick
1963 No Pick
1964 No Pick
1965 Roger Pettee Linebacker
1966 Walt Garrison Fullback
1967 No Pick
1968 Blaine Nye Guard
1969 Chuck Kyle Linebacker
1970 No Pick
1971 Ron Kadziel Linebacker
1972 No Pick
1973 Bruce Walton Offensive Tackle
1974 John Kelsey Offensive Tackle
1975 Kyle Davis Center
1976 Wally Pesuit Offensive Tackle
1977 Andy Frederick Offensive Tackle
1978 Rich Rosen Guard
1979 Bob Hukill Guard; Curtis Anderson Defensive End; Ron Springs Running Back
1980 Gary Hogeboom Quarterback
1981 Danny Spradlin Linebacker
1982 Phil Pozderac Offensive Tackle
1983 Chuck McSwain Running Back
1984 Steve Pelluer Quarterback; Norm Granger Running Back
1985 Herschel Walker Running Back; Matt Darwin Center
1986 No Pick
1987 Everett Gay Wide Receiver
1988 No Pick
1989 Keith Jennings Tight End; Willis Crockett Linebacker; Jeff Roth Defensive Tackle
1990 Stan Smagala Defensive Back
1991 Darrick Brownlow Linebacker
1992 Greg Briggs Defensive Back; Rod Milstead Guard
1993 No Pick
1994 No Pick
1995 Ed Hervey Wide Receiver; Dana Howard Linebacker
1996 Kenneth McDaniel Guard; Alan Campos Linebacker
1997 No Pick
1998 Darren Hambrick Linebacker; Oliver Ross Offensive Tackle
1999 No Pick
2000 Michael Wiley Running Back
2001 Matt Lehr Guard
2002 Pete Hunter Defensive Back
2003 No Pick
2004 Sean Ryan Tight End
2005 No Pick
2006 Pat Watkins Safety
2007 No Pick
2008 Orlando Scandrick Cornerback
2009 DeAngelo Smith Cornerback; Michael Hamlin Safety; David Buehler Kicker
2010 No Pick
2011 Josh Thomas Cornerback
2012 Danny Coale Wide Receiver
2013 Joseph Randle Running Back
2014 Devin Street Wide Receiver
2015 Ryan Russell Defensive End
2016 No Pick
2017 No Pick
2018 Mike White Quarterback
2019 Michael Jackson Cornerback; Joe Jackson Defensive End
2020 Bradlee Anae Defensive End
2021 Simi Fehoko Wide Receiver
2022 Matt Waletzko Offensive Tackle; DaRon Bland Cornerback; Damone Clark Linebacker; John Ridgeway III Defensive Tackle