Card: Score 1990 Supplemental
Acquired: In Person 1991, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp
The Dallas Cowboys considered kicker to be a budget position at the eve of free agency, and after the reign of Roger Ruzek was officially over went through a string of kickers including controversial Luis Zendejas who had a bounty placed on his head by the Eagles. The team would have an open tryout in 1990 and bring in free agent Ken Willis from Kentucky in training camp. About nobody gave him a chance to win the starting job but by the end of camp he’d have the job cemented over. Willis was a likable guy for the Cowboys, and his two seasons for the team were serviceable.
While not connecting on a field goal of over 50 yards his rookie season in 1990, 1991 on the other hand would result in Willis making a career high 39 attempts which would be a team record. He would also connect on 4 of 7 from greater than 50 yards. He’d also be the second leading scoring kicker in the league behind Chip Lohmiller. These would all be career highs for the young former Kentucky Wildcat, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a ludicrous 1 million dollars in 1993. (The Buccaneers were desperate for the best available talent after losing kicker Steve Christie to Buffalo and reached out to Willis.) The Cowboys left Willis exposed on free agency and Jerry Jones was irritated because he had a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with Willis and punter Mike Saxon among others not to sign with other teams. (Jones offer was a measly $175,000. Willis would have been an idiot not to have taken the Bucs deal.) The Cowboys moved on however, and so did Willis. Unfortunately Ken’s tenure in Tampa was incredibly short being 1 of 4 from 30-39 yards and missing 3 critical kicks against the Vikings sealed his fate. Willis would shuffle on up to play for the New York Giants but would suffer a career ending stress fracture of one of his legs. Willis would retire at the age of 26. Unfortunately due to his painful injury Willis wears shin splints to this day and lives in relative anonymity teaching high school Algebra in his home state.
G 47 XPA 90 XPM 90 FGA 80 FGM 55 PCT 68.8%
Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1990, SkyBox 1992
Acquired: TTM, Patriots Blitz 1992, 1993
Ray Agnew is a nice story. Here’s a guy who played on the Patriots when they really sucked, and was more of a run stopper than a pass rusher at left and right defensive end. From 1990-1992, Agnew would start 33 games for the Patriots after being drafted with their first round selection. Then in 1993 with a change in management, Ray’s playing time would drop, and he’d only start 4 games over the next two seasons.
He’d make the lineup for Tecmo SuperBowl, but the game would obviously not do him justice. In 1995 Agnew would move over to the Giants and also move to defensive tackle where after another season near 50 tackles, he spent the next two seasons in 96 and 97 riding the bench. His lone big highlight would be an interception he’d take to the house against the Detroit Lions for 34 yards in 1996. He’d sign with the St. Louis Rams in 1998, providing valuable depth for the them making a career high 5 sacks that season, and in 2000 Ray would get another 4 sacks, winning the Super Bowl with them and retire on top.
G/Gs 157/97 Sac 22.5 Tac 377 Fum 5
Int 2 Yds 34 Avg 17.0 Td 1 Lg 34T
Card: Score Supplemental 1989
Acquired: TTM 1992, Colts Blitz
The season had ended and I got a letter two weeks later stuffed with cards from the Indianapolis Colts! For a team that finished- 1-15, it still made me super happy to get these cards from the players. Maurice Carthon was in that lot. Initially unheralded Maurice Carthon- blocking fullback to the stars- would be signed by the upstart USFL, where he’d block for the New Jersey Generals and… football rushing record holder Herschel Walker. After the 1985 season, Carthon didn’t miss a beat jumping straight to the New York Giants. A strong inside runner with excellent run blocking skills and impressive pass protection ability, Maurice would play for the Giants primarily during the Bill Parcells era winning a championship ring in both SuperBowls XXI and XXV. Carthon would play one season for the Colts in 1992 where I’d get his autograph, and then retire. Since then Maurice has spent his entire post playing career as an assistant in the NFL with the Patriots, Jets, Lions, Cowboys, Browns, Cardinals, and as of this post in 2010 with the Chiefs. He is considered an apostle of the Parcells’ coaching tree working for Bill at three different teams.
G/Gs 123/77 Rush 300 Yds 950 Avg 3.2 Td 2 lg 18 |
Rec 90 Yds 745 Avg 8.3 Td 1 lg 63