Aside from the additions of Johnson and Jones, the Cowboys generated pre-season headlines by selecting UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman with the first overall choice in the NFL Draft. Surprisingly, they later picked quarterback Steve Walsh in the NFL's supplemental selection (in doing so, they gave up a number one pick in the 1990 draft). Aikman started eight games that season and led the team to a 6-2 record before he was injured. He returned for the last three games of the season, including an overtime victory over Washington in which he threw for four touchdowns. The Cowboys finished the season at 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the second year in a row.
Aikman went on to have a very successful career with the Cowboys, helping them win two Super Bowl titles during his time there. After the 1994 season, he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for both their first and third picks in the 1995 draft. That trade turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes in NFL history; the Seahawks would go on to win both games against the Bulls with Aikman at quarterback. In retaliation, the Cowboys chose Oklahoma center Paul Oliver with their first round pick in the 1995 draft. A few months later, the NFL suspended Seattle coach Mike Holmgren for one season for manipulating the league's salary cap. The suspension was later reduced to ten games when evidence emerged that suggested Holmgren had help from his son who was then a student assistant coach at UW.
However, by selecting quarterback Steve Walsh in the first round of the previous year's supplemental draft, the Cowboys forfeited their first-round choice. Instead, the first overall pick went to the Atlanta Falcons, who then traded it to the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts used the number one selection on quarterback Peyton Manning.
Walsh played only three seasons for the Cowboys before being released during the 1994 season. He now works as a security guard at Texas Stadium.
The Cowboys' first-round picks are Dave Thomas (offensive tackle), Kevin Dyson (cornerback), Michael Dean Spears (safety), Quincy Carter (wide receiver), Terrell Owens (wide receiver), Danny White (quarterback), and Walsh (quarterback). Thomas, Dyson, and Owens have been selected to the Pro Bowl while White has been named to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1990s. The other players selected are third-round choices Chris Henry (running back) and Ron Springs (defensive end).
Thomas was drafted by the Chicago Bears but never played for them due to injuries. He did play nine seasons for the Cowboys and was a part of two Super Bowl victories. After retiring from football, he had several business ventures including becoming a television analyst for ESPN and CBS Sports Network.
Dyson played ten seasons in the NFL and was a four-time Pro Bowler.
This handed the Lions the first overall pick in the 1980 NFL Draft, which they used to choose Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims. In the fourth round of the draft, Detroit also selected quarterback Eric Hipple, who went on to become the Lions' starting quarterback for the most of the decade. Hipple replaced an injured Rick Leach and led the team to a 9-7 record before being replaced by Simms in 1981.
Sims had great success at Detroit, leading the team to the playoffs each year from 1980 to 1984, including a victory over the Chicago Bears in the 1983 NFC Championship Game. He was named MVP of that game. After leaving Detroit as one of the greatest quarterbacks in franchise history, he returned in 2001 as the Lions' coach and led them to a 10-6 record before being fired after one season. He has not returned to the field since then.
After spending three seasons as Detroit's backup, Hipple took over as its starter in 1982 when Simms was traded to the Atlanta Falcons. Under Hipple's direction, the Lions finished with a 7-9 record and failed to make the playoffs for the first time in eight years. However, he did lead them to their only win against the Chicago Bears during that period. Hipple was sacked a league-high 72 times in 1982, and many people believed that caused him to lose his job to Simms.
2001 Carter was drafted in the second round by the Dallas Cowboys in 2001 and started his first game as a rookie. He ended up playing in 10 games that season, starting three of them. He threw for 1,454 yards with seven touchdowns vs. nine interceptions.
He continued to play well after Tony Romo was injured in 2006, but then suffered a torn ACL during a preseason game against the New York Giants in 2007. After missing all of 2008 due to injury, he was not re-signed by the Cowboys at the end of the season. He finished his NFL career with 3,333 yards with 20 touchdowns vs. 21 interceptions.
Carter played college football at Quincy Carter High School in Tampa, Florida. As a senior, he passed for 2,242 yards with 24 touchdowns vs. only four interceptions. He also ran for 815 yards with 11 more scores.
He signed with Miami University after graduating from high school, but didn't play football there because of concerns about whether his legs were strong enough to withstand the rigors of the sport.
Carter decided to go pro instead and attended training camp with the Cowboys, where he competed for the job as their third-string quarterback.
On this same weekend in 2006, also during Week 8, then-Cowboys coach Bill Parcells made the full-time switch to then-untested quarterback Tony Romo to replace aging veteran Drew Bledsoe for a 3-3 club hoping to kickstart their season. The move paid off as Romo went on to lead the Cowboys to the playoffs after they had gone 0-16 the previous year.
Romo's first career start came at Chicago where he led the Cowboys to a 17-14 victory. He finished the game 20 of 41 for 237 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. The Cowboys would go on to win their next three games including a 23-20 overtime victory over Pittsburgh in the opener at Texas Stadium. They ended up finishing sixth in their division with a 7-9 record.
After Bledsoe was injured late in the third quarter of a 33-14 loss to Washington, Romo took over completely. He finished that game too - his second as a starter - 35 of 53 for 449 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. The Cowboys lost their next game but rebounded by winning their final five games including victories over Philadelphia, New York Giants, Green Bay, Minnesota and Arizona. They finished the season first in the NFC East with a 12-4 record.
Romo was named the NFL's MVP after throwing for 3,806 yards and 28 touchdowns with only nine interceptions.