NFL Supplemental Draft: A Selection That Helped Cowboys Build Dynasty in 1990s

The NFL supplemental draft will be held Thursday July 12. It is a draft of players not eligible for the regular NFL draft back in April. A team must give up a pick in next year’s draft to select a player in the supplemental draft. Most of the prospects come with some issues and red flags. Often they are academically ineligible. Sometimes, although rare, value can be found in this draft.

Larry “Little Late” Lumpkin

It has been reported by the Huntsville Times  that Dallas and Denver are looking at prospect LB Larry Lumpkin who played at Carson Newman last year. Lumpkin led his team in tackles but didn’t seem to be able to get to meetings on time previously while at Alabama A&M. His position coach at Alabama A&M explained that Larry didn’t want to be there and displayed a poor attitude.

The kind of guy that would interest Jerry Jones perhaps but Jason Garrett talks of wanting the “right kind of guy” and I don’t think this would be what he has in mind. If you can get “Little Late Lumpkin” with just losing a seventh round pick next year, then maybe you go for it. Just keep the risk very low.

Has the supplemental draft paid off for Dallas in the past? Yes but in an indirect way.

Steve Walsh – First Round supplemental pick:

In 1989, Cowboys Head Coach Jimmy Johnson selected his QB at the University of Miami, Steve Walsh, in the supplemental draft. It cost him a first round pick in the next draft. Looking back, it seems like a strange move because Johnson had just selected UCLA QB Troy Aikman in the NFL draft. Walsh actually started his rookie season for the Cowboys over Aikman but after 5 games, Troy became the starter and 3 Super Bowl victories later, you know the rest of the story.

Supplemental pick Steve Walsh

Walsh trade started a dynasty:

In 1990, Walsh was traded to the Saints and became basically a career back up journey man in the NFL. Was he a bust pick? It’s hard to consider Walsh a bust since they got 3 draft picks for him in the trade with the Saints and those picks helped build the Championship teams in the next draft. One of the picks was used to get OT Erik Williams.

In fact, that 1991 draft formed the building blocks for a Cowboys dynasty in the 1990’s.

So how did the 1990 draft go after Dallas traded their first pick to get Walsh? Well they were able to obtain the #17 pick from the Steelers (part of Hershel Walker deal) to pick a RB named Emmitt Smith…..

Interestingly, Johnson was actually trying to draft Baylor LB James Francis however fortunately for Dallas, the Bengals drafted him before Dallas could so Johnson had to settle for the eventual hall of fame RB from Florida, Emmitt Smith. Good story about that HERE.

James Francis went on to have a decent nine year NFL career with 33.5 sacks. According to Wikipedia,  James Francis was in 2007 being held by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department as he owed nearly $905,000 in delinquent child support.

I wouldn’t recommend giving up a first rounder in the supplemental draft but hey, sometimes things just have a way of working out.