Tag Archives: Dallas Cowboys

Lanning, Joel

Card: Topps AAF 2019
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 5/13 Received: 6/3 (21 days)

Joel Lanning was originally a quarterback at Iowa State from 2015-2017. He was a dual threat for the Cyclones both on the ground and through the air. In 2017, Lanning switched to middle linebacker and worked his way up to the starting lineup! He ended up leading the team in total tackles with 114, picked off a pass, and had a fumble recovery. He also was called upon to run the Wildcat for the Cyclones. With the bulk of his stats on offense coming in 2015 and 2016, Joel finished his college career 209/366 (57.1%) 2584 yards, 20 TDs to 7 interceptions. He also rushed 255 times for 983 yards and 17 TDs.

Joel was a free agent signee of the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 but did not make the final squad. An intriguing prospect nonetheless, Lanning later signed with the AAF that year and was a starter on the San Antonio Commanders defense until the league folded. -He recorded 28 tackles.

I had gotten Joel’s autograph previously at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Signing, but this Topps card missed out on that signing by just a few days. After getting the entire set, I doubled down attempting to flag down any Commanders player through Twitter to stop by the visitors end zone, but the league folded before I could get them to show up. It was fairly easy to track Joel down TTM and he signed this card in no time flat.

Johnston, Daryl ‘Moose’ (3)

Card: Topps AAF 2019
Acquired: IP 2019, San Antonio Commanders vs The Salt Lake Stallions
See Also: Daryl Johnston, Daryl Johnston (2)

I had gone to the San Antonio Commanders Season Ticket Holders unveiling announcement. Knowing that Daryl Johnston was the GM of the team, I packed a bunch of cards with the help of my old pal Spoodog, with the hope that I’d get them all signed. Daryl gave a fiery speech about football, and how it had provided for him and his family and his life and how it was under attack from all sides. It really made me excited for AAF football. After the speeches concluded, it became a bit of a madhouse, with Daryl and Troy Polamalu making the rounds. Daryl was taking photos with fans. When I came up to him, I jokingly said, “The denizens of autograph alley at St Edwards say hello!”, And then asked for his autograph. He rebuffed and told me that this was not a signing- rather it was a photo op. He then asked me if I wanted a photo, and I told him…
“No thanks.” , Much to his quizzical look as I walked away. I know a lot of the current generation is into selfies as a way of getting autographs, but to me nothing beats the ink- especially on cards.

I’m pretty sure the day before the Salt Lake Stallions game, I was able to get a hobby box of the Alliance football cards. Inside I was able to break most of the Commanders, to carry with me to the game. It was a date night for my wife and me, since I had the extra seat. The bonus was the league had shifted my seat around so many times that they gave me hats and field passes for one of the games- so I elected for the Stallions game hoping to rake in the autographs.

It really didn’t go as planned as my wife found the whole experience sort of boring and to top it off she was hangry, so we had to leave the field a little bit earlier than normal. I did however stop and talk to Daryl. This card captures Daryl’s demeanor perfectly: Quiet. Alert. Calculating. Intense. -He pretty much had this expression on the entire season.

I asked him if he had seen his card yet- and he was generally shocked. “Well look at that…” He said. This time there was only a brief pause when I asked him to sign the card, to which he responded, “Sure. No problem.” I then told him how impressed I was with the job he was doing with the Commanders in assembling the team. As I looked at him, he appeared genuinely touched and thanked me for the compliment, took the pen and started signing. I then told him about my father, the Riders, and how I had wanted him to come to the games with me, but he had passed at the beginning of the year. He stopped, and said, “Oh my god. I am so sorry for your loss. Are you okay?” A part of me is still processing things 3 months later. It’s been a while since anybody has said anything to me about it. I fumbled the ball, shrugged, and said, “It is what it is.”

Daryl worked mightily for the Commanders the entire season getting up to speed as a GM. Hungry and determined, he put together a competitive team right out of the gate. He also helped advise the league through negotiations with the NFLPA, all the while spending time apart from his family.

It was a shame the way it ended. Even in the mess that it has descended into, Daryl has exuded class, loyalty, and honor. I listened to him on San Antonio radio discuss how the AAF fell apart, how he was just as blindsided as the rest of us, and how he felt badly for the city of San Antonio and the players, coaching staff, and fans of the team.

He’s now looking into opportunities with the Cowboys. I hope he gets that shot because I think he’d be an amazing GM at some point wherever he ends up.

Case, Scott

Cards: ProSet 1989, ProSet 1990, Action Packed 1990, Action Packed 1991
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 7/9    Received:  7/19      (10 days)

Scott case played JC ball at tiny NE Oklahoma A&M in Miami, OK before catching on with the Sooners. He played for the Norsemen from 1980 to 1981 earning JC All-American Honors (’81). He joined Oklahoma in 1982. There he quickly cemented himself as the starting cornerback and had 2 interceptions that year. In 1983, Scott jumped to Free Safety and tied a school record with 8 interceptions that year. He’d be drafted in the second round of the 1984 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.

A headhunter in the secondary at corner, Case developed a reputation as a reckless ballhawk, and an aggressive enforcer at the line of scrimmage. In 1988, he had a career high 10 interceptions, earning him his only Pro Bowl berth. 

With the arrival of Jerry Glanville in 1990, Case moved to free safety and saw his tackle numbers explode and in both 1990 and 1991 he posted 160+ tackles on the season, and 100+ tackles through 1993. While there were some spectacular names that came and went through the secondary, Case’s consistent presence allowed him to move up the career stat charts to finish second in tackles (946) and fourth in interceptions (30).

After 11 seasons with the Falcons, Scott joined the Cowboys in 1995 where he played one final season under his college coach from Oklahoma, Barry Switzer. Case at long last earned his due and won Super Bowl XXX, retiring after the season.

As of 2018, Scott lives in Georgia and owns a construction company. He is very good to the TTM community and signed these 4 cards for me in no time flat. 

Scott’s first cards appeared during the big boom of collecting during the late 80s. (After his 10 interception season, nobody could really ignore him anymore.) All the major brands (Topps, Score, and ProSet) put out cards of Scott in his glory. Thankfully the Falcons hadn’t made the jump to black yet, and there were a few cards that existed of him in the old school red uniform. Sifting through the piles of cards that I had available, I came across these 4 that really stood out to me. My favorite is either the Action Packed 1990 card or his ProSet 1989 card, as their photos stood out a bit more than the others. Scott has a nice autograph, and it is complimented well by his choice of marker and strength of signature.

G/GSTACSACFUMINTYDSAVGTDLG
178/1249607.57302678.9147