Card: Action Packed 1990
Acquired: In Person 2019, San Antonio Commanders v San Diego Fleet
Eric played for Arizona State from 1984 to 1987, posting 16 career interceptions and 2 TDs. He had a dominant Senior year in ’87, putting up 8 interceptions for 185 yards and 2 TDs. Selected by Buddy Ryan’s Eagles in the 2nd round of the 1988 Draft, Eric was immediately slotted in at right cornerback, where he payed dividends with 65 tackles and 5 interceptions his rookie year. He’d earn his only First Team AP nomination in 1989 when he recorded 8 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, and 48 tackles. Arguably Allen had his best year in 1993, when he had 6 interceptions for 201 yards and count em, 4 TDs- including a 94 yard long. He also had 3 forced fumbles 2 sacks and 64 tackles.
Eric joined the New Orleans Saints in 1995. He played there for three seasons starting 48 games, and recording 160 tackles, and 5 interceptions. In 1998, Allen signed with the Oakland Raiders, where he experienced a renaissance of sorts, first with an injury shortened 10 game campaign, but not before he added 5 more interceptions to his resume. In 2000, Eric had another fine season for the books, with 6 picks for 145 yards and 3 TDs, a sack, 14 pass deflections, and 68 tackles. He’d retire after the 2001 season and go into the broadcast booth at ESPN as an analyst, and then later for college football Pac 12 games.
Despite the NFL making adjustments to defensive passing rules over the years, Eric Allen continued to shadow his opponent’s #1 receiver. He is the only player in the history of the league to return 3 or more interceptions for a TD in a season- twice, and the 6 time Pro Bowler was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame, and named to the Eagles 75th Anniversary squad.
I had found out that Eric was wanting to cut his teeth coaching in the AAF and he hooked up to work with Mike Martz’s San Diego Fleet as a defensive backs coach. Before the second half of the game began, he tried sneaking by me in the end zone, so I called him out. In my trademark style I said to Eric, “Hey Eric, just because you shaved your mustache doesn’t mean you can go incognito.” He smiled wryly and did a slight detour and came back to me. We talked briefly about the Fogbowl, and reminisced about those crazy times. For a DB of Eric’s HoF quality, I was surprised that more people didn’t take part or ask for his autograph, but still I was happy to add him on this card.
Great autograph on a good looking card. It’s too bad that the artifact noise of the photo transferred to the card during production.