Cards: GameDay 1992, Upper Deck 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 9/25 Received: 10/1 (6 days)
The Outland Trophy Winner in 1987, Chad Hennings was an excellent defensive lineman who had to defer playing in the NFL to serve his time in the military and fought in the Gulf War. Thanks in part to his service, his stock dipped severely in the 1988 NFL Draft. He’d be selected in the 11th round by the Dallas Cowboys. It wasn’t until 1992 that Chad would become available to the Cowboys to play, thanks in part to military staff reductions.
He’d play with a burgeoning Cowboys defense initially seeing time on special teams. Rotating into the lineup Chad saw a career high 7 sacks in 1994. He started his first game in 1995, and played with the Cowboys through 2000 when injuries began to catch up with him.
All in all Chad was a pretty sneaky draft pick by the Cowboys. They signed him to a contract and paid him a minimal amount to keep his rights until they could pry him from his commitments and it really paid off. They got 6 solid years out of him and 72 starts.
I know why Chad looks a bit exasperated in this 1992 Upper Deck card here. It’s because it was probably taken at Cowboys Training Camp at St. Edwards. As a frequent denizen early on in those years- if the heat didn’t get you, the humidity was surely close behind. I do not like the card one bit. His hands are completely off the canvas and there’s no action to this shot whatsoever. I didn’t mind the stone look to the production, but it felt like it cheapened the look and value of their initial foray with their 1991 effort as they look so similar.
His GameDay 1992 card is solid outside of his foot looking mangled since they didn’t want to include the grass or fake it. It’s an exciting action shot of him taking off and overall it is framed quite well. I had wanted to get Chad on these cards way back at training camp over the years, but by the time I got these cards, things were already going big and neon at Cowboys Training Camp at St. Edwards. It was a madhouse to get autographs, and autograph alley had become somewhat of a chest pressing spectacle for both observers and players alike. – So understandably the best route was TTM some 20 years later.
Chad actually haunts me. He was in a Sports Illustrated article where he talked about the dream of coming back to football… How he could smell the grass, his coaches still barking at him to get in the game, making a play. I still have those dreams, and wish I could go back and change things.