Tag Archives: Dallas Cowboys

Shepard, Derrick (1964-1999)

Cards: Fleer 1990
Acquired: In person, Dallas Cowboys training camp 1990.

I got Derrick on day two or three at my first Cowboys training camp. He was more than happy to stop and sign any cards that fans had and was genuinely a nice guy even though the players were engaged in blisteringly hot two a days.

Derrick was basically trying to live the dream and find a home in the NFL after not being drafted into the league. He was signed as a free agent by the Redskins, and made an impression as a backup kick returner/ punt returner winning a Superbowl in 1987. A speedster, Shepard was signed via free agency by the Saints in 1989 and played 4 games before hitting waivers again, where the Cowboys signed him immediately to fill a utility role. Derrick got valuable playing experience at WR  and in special teams, starting 8 games, making 18 catches, and scoring the only receiving touchdown of his career.  In both 1989 and 1990 he’d lead the team in punt returns, but his role would be shifted to back up in 1991.

Transitioning out of his life as a player, Shepard began a coaching career at the high school level and then later returned to the University of Oklahoma, (his alma mater) before becoming the wide receivers coach at Wyoming in early in 1999. A few weeks later while playing racquetball Derrick suffered a fatal heart attack and died. He was only 35. Derrick Shepard is survived by his wife and three children.

G 36   Rec  20   Yds  304    Avg  15.2    TD 1   Lg 37
KR 51  Yds  1007   Avg 19.7    TD 0     LG 44
PR  75    Yds 679     Avg  9.1     TD 1      Lg  73

Novacek, Jay

Cards: Proset 1989, Proset 1991 Receiving Leader TE.
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1990, 1992.

Jay Novacek was one of Jimmy Johnson‘s first free agent signees of the 1990 season and one of the first autographs I got at Dallas Cowboys training camp at St. Edwards in Austin, Tx. Novacek played in near anonymity for the St. Louis/ Phoenix Cardinals but was left unprotected in free agency. Jay took over the starting tight end position providing an immediate upgrade and held down the starting position for 6 seasons and received 5  Pro Bowl nods from 1991 to 1995. Novacek played in Super Bowl XXX (1996), but never played another down and retired in 1997 due to a lingering back injury.

After football Novacek has dabbled in a variety fields since retirements, investing in a chain of haircut salons (Sportsclips), youth football programs, and is an avid outdoorsman and hunter. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

G 158         Rec  422        Yds  4630        Avg  11.0        Td  30       Lg  49

Beuerlein, Steve

Cards: Action Packed 1992, Fleer 1990, ProSet 1990, ProSet 1992, ProSet Power 1992, Score 1989, Score 1990, Topps 1992, Upper Deck 1992.
Acquired: In Person, 1991-1992 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp. In Person, CGA Youth Golf Tournament 1993.

Steve defines accessibility and patience. When I went to Cowboys training camp, I found myself struggling to find new cards to purchase of Steve because he was a tireless signer who would autograph hundreds of cards after practice. Beuerlein was one of the better backups that the Cowboys had, and probably is the one of the better journeyman quarterbacks in NFL history.  A streaky passer,  Steve had his ups and downs, typically suiting up as second fiddle for around half his career.  He would go on to play or start for 6 teams over a 17 seasons including the Raiders, Cowboys, Cardinals, Jaguars, Panthers, and Broncos. Of small note, Steve was the first quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Steve would go to his only Pro Bowl in 1999 playing then for the Panthers, throwing for 36 touchdowns that year where he appeared out of nowhere, and stood a good chance of being MVP that year- if not for a certain somebody named Kurt Warner. He then disappeared under the radar again in 2000 but put up respectable numbers. Beuerlein signed with the Broncos and played back up behind Jake Plummer through 2003, but elected to resign with the Panthers on a one day contract so that he could retire with them. Since retirement Steve has taken up NFL broadcasting and is an avid golfer.

G 147      Att  1894       Comp 3328         Yds  24046
Td 147        Int 112          Rat 80.3