The 10 Biggest Trades in Dallas Sports History

You know the deal for Dirk is on this list, but where?
You know the deal for Dirk is on this list, but where? Keith Allison
Tuesday is deadline day for Major League Baseball. After 3 p.m., players can't be traded without first being placed on waivers. For teams in playoff contention, it's the last chance to reload before a stretch run. For clubs that are hopelessly out of it, like the Rangers, the deadline is a final opportunity to squeeze something out of a largely meaningless regular season.

Despite the team already having offloaded one of its biggest trade chips in starting pitcher Cole Hamels to the Cubs, plenty of intrigue faces the Rangers as the clock ticks down. As we wait to see what happens to Adrian Beltre and the rest of the Rangers, let's take a look back at the 10 biggest trades in Dallas sports history.

10. The Dallas Stars trade Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow to the Boston Bruins for Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley and Ryan Button — On Independence Day 2013, the Stars pulled off the rarest of rare NHL deals, acquiring Seguin, an All-Star center, at the beginning of his prime. While he's yet to achieve any significant playoff success in Dallas, Seguin has lived up to his superstar potential during his time with the Stars, combining with Jamie Benn to create one of the NHL's most dynamic offensive duos. 
9. The Dallas Cowboys trade first-, third- and sixth-round draft picks to the Detroit Lions for Roy Williams and seventh-round draft pick — At the 2008 trade deadline, the Cowboys believed they might be one player away from Super Bowl contention. Thinking another star wide receiver lining up opposite Hall-of-Famer Terrell Owens could be that player, Jerry Jones and the Cowboys shipped three draft picks to the Lions for University of Texas-ex Roy Williams. Despite the ransom the team paid for him and the $45 million contract extension he received shortly after the trade, Williams was nothing short of awful for the Cowboys. Over 40 games in Dallas, Williams averaged fewer than 2.5 catches and just over 33 yards receiving per game. 
8. The Texas Rangers trade Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera to the Cincinnati Reds for Josh Hamilton — While Volquez ended having a couple of decent seasons as a starting pitcher for the Reds and Kansas City Royals, Hamilton was a supernova for the Rangers, scorching the league on the way to an MVP season in 2010 before flaming out completely after signing a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels following the 2012 season. For portions of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons, Hamilton was the best player in baseball. 
7. The Texas Rangers trade Sammy Sosa, Wilson Alvarez and Scott Fletcher to the Chicago White Sox for Harold Baines and Fred Manrique — Similar to Jones and the Cowboys in 2008, then-general manager Tom Grieve and the Rangers thought they were one piece away from contending for a championship as the 1989 trade deadline approached. Believing White Sox designated hitter Harold Baines was that piece, the Rangers traded two of the best prospects in their farm system, Sammy Sosa and Wilson Alvarez, to Chicago along with middle infielder Scott Fletcher. Alvarez was an adequate-to-good starting pitcher for most of the next decade, something the '90s Rangers needed desperately, but Sosa was a monumental loss. After moving across town from the White Sox to the Cubs, Sosa became a  bona fide superstar, hitting at least 49 home runs for five consecutive seasons beginning in 1998.  Performance-enhanced or not, the Rangers could've used those dingers.   
6. The Texas Rangers trade Justin Smoak, Blake Beavan, Josh Lueke and Matthew Lawson to the Seattle Mariners for Cliff Lee and Mark Lowe — While Cliff Lee failed to win a championship during his half-year stint with the Rangers in 2010, it's doubtful the club would have made the World Series in the first place without the left-handed ace. Landing Lee injected confidence into a franchise that hadn't made the playoffs since 1999, and Lee's dominant win over the Yankees in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series remains one of the best pitching performances in Rangers history. It says a lot that, despite spurning the Rangers for a shorter offer worth less money during the 2010 offseason, North Texas fans remember Lee's time in Arlington fondly. 
5. The Dallas Stars trade Corey Millen and Jarome Iginla to the Calgary Flames for Joe Nieuwendyk — While Iginla, just a prospect at the time of the trade in 1995, might have had the best career of any of the three players involved in this trade, Nieuwendyk proved a perfect fit for the Stars, who were in desperate need of a second-line center. Nieuwendyk was unstoppable for the Stars during the 1999 playoffs, eventually winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as he led the team to its only Stanley Cup. 
4. The Dallas Mavericks trade Matt Carroll, Erick Dampier and Eduardo Nájera to the Charlotte Bobcats for Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinça — In exchange for a bundle of spare parts, the Mavs picked up rangy rim protector Tyson Chandler before the 2010-2011 season from the Charlotte Bobcats. Chandler's athleticism, intensity and defending were just what the doctor ordered for a Mavs team that proved it was, in fact, just one player away from a championship. Chandler, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd led the Mavs to their first and only championship against the Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals, exorcising more than 30 years of demons.
3. The Texas Rangers trade Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay to the Atlanta Braves for Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Beau Jones — While this trade doesn't look quite as bad as it did a few years after it happened, thanks in large part to injuries to Feliz and Harrison, the Rangers pulled off the platonic ideal of a farm-system reload in 2007. Out of contention and with no chance to re-sign Teixeira, the Rangers dealt the hulking first baseman for a haul that included three essential pieces — Andrus, Feliz and Harrison — of the only two Rangers teams to make the World Series.

2. The Dallas Mavericks trade Robert Traylor to the Milwaukee Bucks for Dirk Nowitzki and Pat Garrity, then move Garrity to the Suns for Steve Nash — On draft night in 1998, the Mavs traded Traylor, who they'd selected with the sixth overall pick to the Bucks for Nowitzki, who the Bucks had selected ninth, and Garrity, who Milwaukee picked 19th. The Mavericks then flipped Garrity to the Suns for Steve Nash. The Mavs got two future Hall-of-Famers, including maybe the most beloved figure in the history of Dallas sports, for Traylor, who never averaged more than 5.7 points per game during an NBA season.
1. The Dallas Cowboys trade Herschel Walker and three draft picks to the Minnesota Vikings for Jesse Solomon, David Howard, Issiac Holt, Darrin Nelson, Alex Stewart and eight draft picks — In the midst of a 1-15 season, the Cowboys traded the best player from a really bad team for five players and a raft of draft picks. While the players the Cowboys acquired ended up, for the most part, just being the answers to a really tough trivia question, Jimmy Johnson acquired the core of three Super Bowl-winning teams with the draft-pick haul. The deal is known as The Great Train Robbery for a reason.
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young