Card: StarPics 1992
Acquired: Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1993
As you see on the 1992 StarPics card, Darren Woodson was originally an outside linebacker, but his skill set determined that he was a better fit at the safety position. With the emergence of Darren Woodson at safety, James Washington became expendable. That’s a tall thing to say considering James Washington’s performance for the Cowboys over the past few seasons had been exceptional- but Woodson was up to the tall order, both being a great hitter and well rounded in coverage. In 1993 he’d set a team record for defensive backs with 155 tackles from his strong safety position. Frequently he’d line up in a linebacker position (sometimes called ‘elephant’ at the college level) and unfairly cover the slot receiver. He’d be named AP in 1994, 1995 and 1996, the ProBowl from 1994 to 1998, was a SuperBowl Champion 3 times and over 12 seasons he’d become Dallas’ all-time combined leading tackler with 1350 tackles. With the retirement of Darren Woodson in 2004 (due to injury) Dallas’ secondary collapsed. In 2006 a rumored comeback was in the works, but with the Cowboys unable to make the playoffs he remained in retirement. Since football Darren has been involved with ESPN and provides honest commentary about the Dallas Cowboys. Listed below is also a nice highlight reel of Darren’s hits and picks.
G/Gs 178/162 Tac 1350 Sac 11 Fum 12 Int 23 Yds 271 Avg 11.7 Td 2 LG 84
Card: Star Pics 1992
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o The Indianapolis Colts
Rodney Culver, from Detroit, was the starting tailback (and first African-American Captain) at Notre Dame in 1990 and 1991. He was drafted in the 4th round of the 1992 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts during the ‘dark days’ of the franchise (before the current ‘golden age’ of the Manning Era). With the departure of Eric Dickerson the team was going in a new direction at runningback and had a platoon of players at the position. Culver was used primarily as a goal line and short yardage back. He played in 1992 and 1993 for the Colts, before signing with the Chargers in 1994. I’d get Rodney’s autograph during a blitz of the Colts franchise back in 1992. His autograph oddly has 2 numbers on it- his college number and a star with a 2 next to it. I have assumed it meant it was the second Star Pics card he signed. Culver played in San Diego for an additional two seasons in another platoon system, making an appearance in the Superbowl for the Chargers, after the 1995 season. Over his short career Culver showed flashes of starting potential, was a tireless team player, and dedicated hard worker. Full of wisdom beyond his years and an inspirational presence, Rodney was also a devout Christian going as far as when he’d score a touchdown he would point towards the sky in thanks.
On May 11th, 1996 shortly after takeoff from Miami, Rodney and his wife were tragically killed when their flight, Value Jet 592 crashed in the Florida Everglades killing all 110 on board. The crash would highlight massive oversight failures by the airline industry when dealing with safety, contractors, and transportation of potentially hazardous materials on commuter flights. In 1999, on the 3rd anniversary of the disaster, a memorial was dedicated to the victims of flight 592 in Miami-Dade county. Truly an unsung and quiet player, leaving us before his prime- Rodney Culver is another example of a exactly why I have been putting these autographs on my site. It’s not fair- really- and this is the best I can do to remember players like Rodney.
G/Gs 43/5 Att 241 Yds 689 Avg 2.9 Td 13 Lg 36 |
Rec 42 Yds 343 Avg 8.7 Td 3 Lg 27
Card: Star Pics 1992
Acquired: In Person 1994, Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp
Tommy Jeter played for the Texas Longhorns during the waning days of the Southwestern Conference, (which consisted at that point of a bunch of teams from Texas after Arkansas left). He’d be drafted in the 3rd round by the Philadelphia Eagles, where I’d get his autograph in West Chester in 1995. Although he was well sized at 6-5, 285, Jeter would rarely get playing time under Rich Kotite and Ray Rhodes, and injuries took its toll on the young defensive lineman as he spent the greater part of his final season with the Eagles on IR before being released. Jeter would then sign with the Arizona Cardinals and be cut in training camp and then end up with the Panthers before retiring in 1996.
I think I got like 14 or 15 autographs on my trip to West Chester that year. My parents felt bad because I wanted to go to the Pro Football HoF but we were unable to go even though we were in the general area. I think the biggest haul I got from this group was Herschel Walker, but Randall Cunningham completely denied me, by dropping my card on the ground outside the fence and insisting I already got one from him, – even though I hadn’t. Training camp there was set up much the same way as Cowboys training camp, with a long metal fence that players walked by, but a lot less fans. It was interesting too because the player’s wives came out with them too, almost like they were trying to show them off to the crowd. Tommy was a really nice guy. He saw that I was wearing my high school hat, and asked me, “What I was doing here and how was Austin?”
G/GS 32/0 Tac 15 Sac 1 FF 0 Int 0 Yds 0 Avg -.- Td 0