Number 3: Tony Dorsett pick traded to the Dallas Cowboys, 1977
Seahawks received one first round pick and three second-round picks for Seattle’s number 2 pick
If the Seahawks were already a good team and traded their number two pick in the 1977 draft for multiple draft picks, that may not have been a bad thing. But Seattle was still trying to build a franchise. 1977 was just the Seahawks second year in the NFL. The number two pick ended up being running back Tony Dorsett.
To be fair, even had Seattle drafted Dorsett they would have needed a lot of other pieces to be good and maybe Dorsett’s first few years in the league would have been wasted. But we can only assume that would have been a worst-case scenario on the field because Dorsett never played for Seattle. And adding Dorsett might have helped make Seattle good for many years.
Before the draft, Dorsett allegedly wrote a letter to Seattle’s management saying if taken by the Seahawks he would never play for them. He threatened to play in the CFL instead. Seattle’s general manager John Thompson took the bait and Seattle’s number-two pick in the draft was traded to the Dallas Cowboys.
Seattle ended up with the number 14 pick in the draft and chose offensive tackle Steve August. Seattle also chose offensive lineman Tom Lynch and linebacker Terry Beeson in the second round and traded their third second round pick back to the Cowboys for a receiver.
August wasn’t awful. He started 50 straight games for Seattle from 1978 through 1981. But he was never a Pro Bowler. Lynch started on the same offensive line with August for most of 1978 through 1980. Beeson was pretty solid for most of five seasons and had 153 tackles in 1978.
But none of these players, of course, can measure up to the success Dorsett had individually and with his team. Dorsett ran for more than 1,000 yards eight times and made the Pro Bowl four times. He also won a Super Bowl with the Cowboys in 1977. Dorsett was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.