Tag Archives: Dallas Cowboys

Williams, Trey

Cards: Panini Contenders 2015, Crown Royale 2015, Panini Prestige 2015, Topps AAF 2019, Topps AAF 2019 NOW, Topps XFL 2020, Topps XFL 2020 Certified
Acquired: COMC, 2020. EBay, 2020. TTM C/o Home 2020
Sent: 11/12 Received: 11/21 (9 days)

Trey Williams hails from Texas A&M- a school full of rich history in producing runningbacks. While playing for the Aggies, he ran 204 time for 1343 yards and 18 TDs in 3 years (2012-2014). What was most impressive was his gaudy 6.6 yards per carry. He also caught 38 passes for 330 yards and a TD as well. Although he had a solid combine, Williams ultimately was not selected in the 2015 draft.

He’d sign with his hometown Houston Texans after the draft, then quickly join the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, the Patriots, the Dolphins, and finally the Colts- all before 2015 came to a close. After being cut by the Colts in mid-2016, Trey kept hustling. He signed with the Steelers early in 2017, then briefly joined the Argos in the CFL. In November of 2017, Williams signed with the Dallas Cowboys again where he’d be waived in final cuts during 2018.

I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to have highlight film that made preseason sportscenter.. such as scoring a TD on his first ever preseason carry from 20+ yards out, or returning a punt for a 64 yard TD with the Steelers- but somehow miss out on making the squad.

Trey opted to head to the new frontier of the Alliance of American Football in 2019. He’d be assigned to the San Antonio Commanders. After missing the first two weeks of the season for personal reasons, Trey played in the next 6 finishing with 40 carries for 205 yards and a TD. He’d also catch 9 passes for 71 yards and a TD as well.

An exciting sparkplug, Williams provided a change of pace to lead back Kenneth Farrow II in the Commanders backfield. An outside the tackles kind of guy, Williams is very good at dodging people in space. This makes him quite effective at screen passes and out in the flat. He quickly became my favorite player just behind Greg Ward Jr.

His finest moment in the AAF came in Week 7 against the formidable Salt Lake City Stallions. The Stallions had a very stubborn defense. After trading field position for most of the game and keeping it close, QB Marquise Williams dropped a screen pass out to Trey. He bobbed and weaved through the SLC defense 36 yards and then dove into the endzone for a TD. It was really incredible to watch!

After the AAF folded, Trey joined the XFL 2020, where he was the first player selected in the open portion of the draft by the Seattle Dragons. He’d be reunited with his coach from the Commanders, Mike Riley, and a bevvy of former teammates including Kenneth Farrow. He ran 34 times for 122 yards and a TD for the Dragons, and catch 8 passes for 44 yards and a TD- before the league folded after week 5.

I first missed out on an in person signing in Houston during 2019. I would’ve driven there just to get his autograph on a bunch of cards and meet him, but I had been to in person events frequently that year, and I did not wish to antagonize my wife. I also had the Topps AAF Now card I was worried about risking, so these just sat, and then I added a few more to the stack including the XFL card.

After a while I just decided to buy a few certified cards of Trey, thinking I’d call it a day, but a few months later my partner in crime, Mark, acted on an address I had long suspected of being Trey’s- and hit pay dirt. It took me a bit to get back to Trey. I miss the Commanders and the AAF a lot, but frankly, we all know it wouldn’t have made it probably through 2020 – because of the pandemic. (See the XFL 2020.) Still after being stuck in the mud the last few months on AAF/XFL send outs, I went back to it taking the risk that Trey would ink these cards. I would have preferred a different color than silver- but I can’t look this gift horse in the mouth.

Johnston, Daryl ‘Moose’ (4)

Cards: Topps AAF Certified Player Issue 2011, Upper Deck College Legends 2011 Bowl Game Heroes
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home
Sent: 4/22/20 Received: 4/29/20 (7 days)
See Also: Daryl Johnston, Daryl Johnston (2), Daryl Johnston (3)

I really hustled hard for Daryl Johnston this time around. I had seen on a few sites that he was giving away his player issue version of his certified Topps AAF 2019 card- that I did not have, and along with the fact that he was GM of the Commanders, and it was super expensive on the secondary market, I really wanted to get my paws on that card. I wrote a solid 9 page letter talking about how our lives had intertwined over the last- 30 ish years or so. It was the longest letter I’d ever written to a player.

Daryl has been very good to the TTM community, and as a whole has been a gracious signer outside of those rare instances. Instead of flooding him with cards, I just sent this one Upper Deck College Legends card and asked him for the certified one, since I was a season ticket holder to the Commanders. I was very happy when he responded in no time flat and added the tag #Swords Up! giving the Commanders card a bit of personalization. It gave me a nice bounce in my step for the day.

I had high hopes that he’d pen an inspired response to me about his AAF experience, but the stories that I had read led me to believe that he was caught just as flat footed as the rest of us, even though he was fighting in the trenches everyday for the league. After his AAF experience, Daryl went on to join the XFL 2020 Dallas Renegades, and despite the boasted money behind it, the league folded only after 5 games due to COVID concerns.

Maryland, Russell (2)

Cards: Upper Deck 1991, Score Supplemental 1991, GameDay 1992, ProSet 1991, ProSet 1991 #1 Pick, ProSet 1992
Acquired: In Person 2020, Dallas Renegades v The Houston Roughnecks
See Also: Russell Maryland

So Russell was this Cowboy that I just got once or twice at Cowboys training camp as a kid and then that was it. The other players probably told him not to shell out too many autographs because we were there all the time (and they probably suspected us of selling them). Over the years I piled up some great cards of Russell. From his college ProSet card to his Gameday card, I had heard from time to time he did sign through a project that he was doing in Florida called Reading for Dragons or something like that, but didn’t want to take the chance of that being a bad lead, so I just held on to these cards. I never thought in my wildest imagination that 30 ish years later I’d get him at a Spring Football game in Dallas, but here we are!

The Cowboys pretty much jumped at the opportunity to embrace the XFL Renegades, loaning greats Everson Walls and Russell Maryland for the Renegades game against the Houston Roughnecks. As a Roughneck fan I was given a chance to attend the road game for free- so I seized upon the chance and drove to Dallas with these cards in tow. The Dallas front office put together a really nice pregame show. The Cowboys players did an interview and then afterwards signed autographs.

Russell was a really nice guy. He didn’t have any qualms with signing so many cards now. We chatted for a few minutes about those hot summers in Austin at training camp and how much fun he had. He was surprised that I knew about Reading for Dragons and told me that he only briefly did that and that the program was long gone. After signing Russell, with a wide and broad smile, pretty much surprisingly blended in with the crowd, so much so he got pulled aside when he entered the arena, to be wanded by arena staff.