So go ahead and debate if whether be worth it for Jerry Jones to give up the Joey Galloway package (two first-round picks) or the Roy Williams package (a first-rounder, third-rounder and swapping late-round picks) to acquire a 28-year-old who is one of the elite backs in NFL history. Breath has been wasted on sillier discussions.
Such as ... coming up with the terms for the reverse Herschel Walker trade.
Dallas shipping the 27-year-old Pro Bowl back to Minnesota in 1989 for five players and a bundle of draft picks might be the most lopsided trade in NFL history. It definitely built a big part of the foundation for Dallas' 1990s dynasty.
What would a similar deal to send Peterson in the opposite direction look like?
First, let's focus on the players, coming up with a comparable current Cowboy for each Viking who was sent to Dallas in 1989.
Bruce Carter/Jesse Solomon: Sure, hopes remain high for Carter at Valley Ranch despite his regression this season. But Solomon had 124 tackles, four interceptions, 2.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries as a 25-year-old the previous season. The Cowboys are still waiting for Carter, a three-year veteran, to come up with a turnover.
Justin Durant/David Howard: Howard was a 27-year-old starting outside linebacker who had just lost his starting job in Minnesota. Durant is a 28-year-old who has likely lost his starting job to Kyle Wilber.
Miles Austin/Darrin Nelson: There really isn't a running back on the Cowboys' roster who compares to Nelson, who refused to report to Dallas and was dealt to San Diego. Like Austin now, Nelson's days as a premier playmaker were behind him by the time of the Herschel deal.
Morris Claiborne/Issiac Holt: Holt wasn't a sixth overall pick who was hyped by the owner and general manager as the best cornerback prospect in a couple of decades. But he was a corner who had lost his starting job before the trade. As much as it might pain Jones to admit it, Claiborne is the millionaire corner on the Cowboys' roster they can most afford to lose by far.
Caesar Rayford/Alex Stewart: Stewart was a rookie defensive end drafted in the eighth round who was immediately waived by the Cowboys. Rayford is on the Cowboys' practice squad right now, but he's a pretty good equivalent.
Then there's the package of picks, which is complicated a bit later, related deals that turned guaranteed the Cowboys would get picks that were conditional. Without bogging this down with too many details, here are the picks that would be swapped in the reverse Herschel deal.
The Cowboys would get a third-rounder, a fifth-rounder and seventh-rounder (since there isn't a 10th round anymore) in 2014 and a 2015 third-rounder.
The Vikings' hypothetical haul: a first-rounder, second-rounder and sixth-rounder in 2014, first-rounder and second-rounder in 2015, second-rounder and third rounder in 2016 and a first-rounder in 2017.
In this case, maybe it's a good thing for the Cowboys that there's a salary cap. Trader Jerry just might be tempted to pull the trigger.