How Eric Dickerson impacted the Buffalo Bills

How Eric Dickerson impacted the Buffalo Bills
How Eric Dickerson impacted the Buffalo Bills / Focus On Sport/GettyImages

It's NFL draft season and there is talk of the Buffalo Bills moving around in the draft order, so I got to thinking about some of the trades from years and how they impacted the Buffalo Bills. Let's revisit a blockbuster trade that impacted the Buffalo Bills way back on Halloween 1987. It's one of the biggest NFL trades ever, involving the Bills, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Los Angeles Rams. Who won the trade is debatable, but the Bills came away with a key piece despite giving up multiple draft picks and a player.

In a massive four-player, six-draft-pick trade, the Rams acquired future Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson. The Colts, needing picks to send to the Rams, got 3 first/second rounders from the Bills for linebacker Cornelius Bennett. The Rams used their haul to draft 6 players, including running backs Gaston Green and Cleveland Gary, linebackers Fred Strickland and Frank Stams, wide receiver Aaron Cox, and defensive back Darryl Henley.

During Dickerson's tenure with the Colts, he amassed 5,194 yards, 32 touchdowns, and a 4.1 yards per carry average. He also added 138 receptions and 1,082 receiving yards and another three touchdowns. However, the deal did not equate to success for the team, having made the playoffs only once during those five years, losing to the Cleveland Browns in the Divisional Round. This included a 1 - 15 season in 1991, Dickerson's final year with the team.

The Rams experienced a little more success after the Dickerson trade, making the playoffs twice during those five years, including 1989, when they advanced to the NFL Championship game, before losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champs, the San Francisco 49ers. After their 1989 playoff run, the Rams managed to win only eight games over the following two seasons.

How did the Buffalo Bills fare after the Eric Dickerson trade?

The Buffalo Bills exploded onto the scene following the Dickerson trade. The team went 7 - 8 the year of the deal in 1987; however, they would win at least nine games each year until 1993. The team went on to win five division and four conference titles, advancing to the Super Bowl, all before that 1993 season and Cornelius Bennett was a huge part of the reason why and was a mainstay on those Bills Super Bowl teams. The lesson here is regardless of the haul a team gets in a deal if they don't draft well, it means next to nothing, case in point, is the LA Rams.


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