The Dallas Cowboys' long search for an elite pass rusher has ended with the acquisition of defensive end Charles Haley from the San Francisco 49ers, who dealt him for a package of high, undisclosed draft picks in 1993 or beyond.
"I think everybody understands the last couple of years we have been looking for a pass rusher," Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson said Wednesday."We felt we had improved our defense significantly over the last couple of years, and I think this undoubtedly will make it even better. He will have an immediate impact on our pass rush."
Haley, whom the 49ers drafted out of James Madison in the fourth round of the 1986 draft, made the All-Pro team the past three seasons, but had feuded openly with San Francisco management. He said on several occasions last season that he wanted out.
But the 49ers were reluctant to deal Haley - and had said so publicly - until Wednesday.
"It is believed to be in the short- and long-term best interest of this organization, and we sincerely hope it's in the best interest of the player as well," 49ers president Carmen Policy said.
Dallas owner Jerry Jones said the Cowboys agreed to give the 49ers several draft picks, not necessarily all in 1993 - "not a No. 1 draft pick, but the equivalent."
The pass-rushing specialist tied for the 49ers' lead in sacks last season with seven. He had 63 sacks in his stormy six-year career with the 49ers, including a National Football Conference-leading 16 in 1990, when he was named NFC player of the year.
Policy said the trade could involve first-, second- and third-round picks in the 1993 and possibly 1994 drafts under certain conditions.
The conditions are related to the respective finishes of the 49ers and Cowboys and not to player performance, Policy said. He refused to go into further detail, saying the two teams agreed to keep most conditions confidential.