12 Most Valuable 1991 Pacific Football Cards

Most Valuable 1991 Pacific Football Cards


Unless you were a big collector during the early 1990s, you might not be too familiar with the 1991 Pacific football card set.

After making smaller sets during the 1980s, primarily of retired former MLB players, Pacific tossed its name into the football card market when it received an NFL license to produce cards in 1991.

But let's face it...

The competition from the big names like Topps, Upper Deck, Fleer and Pro Set was overwhelming.

So many hobbyists aren't too familiar with this set as a result.

Yet, in hindsight, it's a decent set overall, and there's plenty to enjoy.

The card design featured many great action shots on their full-color glossy fronts.

All the big-name superstars made the 660-card checklist, too.

And in this guide, we'll take a look at the 12 most valuable in the checklist.

Let's jump right in!

Ross Uitts

Ross Uitts - Owner

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Let's be clear: most of the cards from this set do not have any value these days.

Like the 1991 Pro Set, Action Packed, Bowman, Fleer, Score, Topps and Upper Deck sets, large print runs saturated the market with these cards, driving down their values.

So, for the cards on this list to be worth much, they'll have to be graded by PSA to be in perfect, gem mint condition.

That means the card needs to be flawless.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's take a look at the list:

1991 Pacific #551 Brett Favre Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $50

The Atlanta Falcons organization drafted Brett Favre in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft with the 33rd pick, but then-head coach Jerry Glanville wasn't a fan of the team's choice.

And his opinion of Favre only continued to deteriorate as the young quarterback's many late nights on the town grew more distracting.

Glanville later said, "I tried everything with Brett. He needed to grow up and he was young, and I even flew in his parents to try to help me with him. But I couldn't get him to function."

His relationship with Glanville was the primary reason he barely saw action during the 1991 NFL season.

But veteran starter Chris Miller also delivered the only Pro Bowl performance of his career that year, which also didn't help Favre's chances of getting on the field.

During his rookie season in 1991 with the Falcons, Favre appeared in just two games, attempting all of his four passes that season during one of them, a 56-17 blowout loss to the Washington Redskins.

And Washington picked off two of those four passes, with Redskins linebacker Andre Collins returning one for a score.

After the 1991 NFL season, Atlanta didn't hesitate to trade him to the Green Bay Packers for a first-round selection in the 1992 NFL Draft.

1991 Pacific #551 Brett Favre Rookie Card

1991 Pacific #144 Barry Sanders

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40

When the Detroit Lions defeated the Dallas Cowboys 38-6 in the 1991 NFC Divisional Round at home in the Silverdome, no one could have predicted they'd be 0-9 in playoff action since.

Barry Sanders had years of dominant football left in him, and Detroit put together several outstanding teams during the rest of the 1990s.

Yet, the Lions are still looking for their next playoff victory since routing the Cowboys that day.

Rewinding a bit to see how Detroit even put themselves into position to hand Dallas such a blowout loss in that game, it's clear that Barry Sanders was a big reason.

While posting his third-consecutive 1,000-yard season with a then-career-high 1,548 rushing yards, Sanders also set a personal best with 16 rushing touchdowns.

And he added 307 receiving yards and a score through the air.

Whether on the ground or through the air, opposing defenses struggled to contain Barry Sanders in 1991.

Behind a threatening offense and a formidable defense, Detroit posted a 12-4 record to win the NFC Central and advance to the playoffs for the first time since 1983.

Unfortunately, the eventual Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins blew them out 41-10 in the NFC Championship Game.

1991 Pacific #144 Barry Sanders Football Card

1991 Pacific #234 Bo Jackson

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40

When Cincinnati Bengals linebacker made a routine tackle on Bo Jackson during an AFC divisional playoff game against the Los Angeles Raiders on January 13, 1991, no one knew how historic that play would be.

And not in a good way.

Jackson's 34-yard run was incredible.

But Walker's tackle seemed like any ordinary tackle.

Yet the angle at which Jackson hit the ground dislocated his left hip.

It was one of the most devastating freak injuries in sports history.

Jackson's football career was over in an instant.

After the game, doctors diagnosed Jackson with avascular necrosis in his left hip joint, forcing him to retire from the NFL.

Though the Kansas City Royals soon released him, Jackson jumped at the chance to continue playing professional baseball by signing a three-year contract with the Chicago White Sox ahead of the 1991 MLB season.

He'd appear in a limited number of games in 1991 and 1993 while missing the entire 1992 season because of hip surgery.

After that, he was off to Southern California to play one final season with the California Angels in 1994, retiring after the infamous players' strike.

As a sports icon, Jackson remains the only person ever to play in both an MLB All-Star Game (1989) and an NFL Pro Bowl (1990).

1991 Pacific #234 Bo Jackson Football Card

1991 Pacific #464 Joe Montana

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40

Joe Montana became a San Francisco 49ers icon during the 1980s when he helped lead the franchise to four Super Bowls during the decade.

With pinpoint accuracy and incredible field vision, Montana was a surgeon in the 49ers' West Coast offense, picking opposing defenses apart with precision and control that few quarterbacks have ever matched.

And after back-to-back Super Bowl titles over the Bengals and Broncos during the 1988 and 1989 NFL seasons, Montana and San Francisco looked ready to three-peat in 1990.

The team blew through the league regular season record and then crushed the Washington Redskins 28-10 in the 1990 NFL Divisional Round.

The New York Giants were the only team left in the NFC to stop the 49ers from their third-straight trip to the Super Bowl.

Then, down 13-9 to the Giants in the 1990 NFC Championship Game, disaster struck for San Francisco when Montana suffered multiple injuries after a devastating hit, forcing him to leave the game.

The Giants would win the game, ending any hope of a Super Bowl three-peat for San Francisco.

And then, disaster struck again during the 1991 NFL preseason.

During a team drill, Montana felt a tear in his throwing elbow and ultimately had to miss the entire 1991 season and most of the 1992 campaign.

1991 Pacific #464 Joe Montana Football Card

1991 Pacific #467 Jerry Rice

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40

After Joe Montana went down with an elbow injury before the 1991 NFL regular season, nobody knew how Jerry Rice would react on the field.

For years, the Montana-to-Rice duo had devastated opposing secondaries as the two formed one of the greatest quarterback and wide receiver tandems in NFL history.

Yet, as the season wore on, it turned out that it didn't matter as much as expected.

Between ten starts with Steve Young under center and another six with Steve Bono at the helm, Rice led the NFL for the third-straight season with 14 touchdown receptions.

And though he couldn't also pull off the three-peat as the leader in receiving yards, his 1,206 were third-best in the league behind Michael Irvin (1,523) and Gary Clark (1,340).

Rice's 75.4 yards per game were the lowest since his 1985 rookie campaign, but hardly anyone noticed.

He was still clearly one of the top wideouts in the league, no matter who his quarterback was.

Rice would earn his sixth-straight Pro Bowl selection, but unfortunately, the 49ers' streak of eight-straight seasons of making it to the playoffs came to an end.

1991 Pacific #467 Jerry Rice Football Card

1991 Pacific #115 John Elway

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35

Imagine the pressure and frustration that John Elway must have felt after losing back-to-back Super Bowls in 1986 and 1987, followed by another Super Bowl loss in 1989.

The 1990 season didn't do him any favors, as the Broncos struggled all year, finishing with a horrendous 5-11 record and last in the AFC West.

Yet, the future Hall of Famer remained hopeful heading into the 1991 season.

Elway furthered his reputation as one of the best quarterbacks in the business, completing 53.7% of his 451 attempts for 3,253 yards and 13 touchdowns to earn a fourth Pro Bowl appearance.

When the regular season wrapped up, Elway had led the Broncos to a stellar 12-4 record, bringing them from worst to first in the AFC West.

Yet he wanted a Super Bowl ring more than anything.

In the AFC Divisional Round against the Houston Oilers, Elway led the Broncos offense on a late-game drive to set up a game-winning field goal for the 26-24 win.

The hopes at Mile High couldn't have been higher.

However, Elway struggled badly against the Buffalo Bills' stout defense in the AFC Championship Game.

This time, the Broncos found themselves on the other side of a close defeat, losing to Buffalo 10-7.

1991 Pacific #115 John Elway Football Card

1991 Pacific #269 Dan Marino

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35

Dan Marino was as brilliant as ever during the 1991 NFL season, earning his sixth trip to the Pro Bowl for his efforts.

Game after game, Marino relied on his trademark quick release and pinpoint accuracy to dissect opposing defenses through the air.

The Hall of Fame quarterback just missed hitting the 4,000 passing yards milestone for the fifth time in his career (at that point) with an impressive 3,970-yard tally.

His 25 passing touchdowns were a far cry from his then-record 48 touchdowns he tossed during his legendary campaign in 1984, yet they were still the fourth-most in the league.

However, no matter what Marino and the Miami Dolphins' offense did that season, it couldn't compensate for their struggling defense.

The Miami defense was especially suspect against the run, finishing second-to-last in total rushing defense and 24th in the league in points allowed.

Had the defense been better, Miami may have been able to win more games.

However, at 8-8, the Dolphins finished third in the AFC East, missing out on the postseason for the fourth time in five years.

1991 Pacific #269 Dan Marino Football Card

1991 Pacific #107 Emmitt Smith

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35

Coming off a spectacular rookie campaign in which he won 1990 Offensive Rookie of the Year and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl, Emmitt Smith was even hotter in 1991.

The elusive back carried the ball a league-leading 365 times en route to winning his first of four rushing titles over the next five years with 1,563 yards on the ground.

He also continued carving out a pivotal role in the passing game, hauling in 49 receptions for 258 yards and a touchdown.

By season's end, Smith had earned Second-team All-Pro honors and a second-consecutive Pro Bowl selection.

It was clear that Dallas had a superstar in the making in their backfield.

Yet most importantly for Smith and the Cowboys, their second-place finish in the NFC East at 11-5 qualified them for a Wild Card berth.

Facing a tough matchup on the road against the Chicago Bears at Solider Field, Smith rushed 26 times for 105 yards and a touchdown to help Dallas to a 17-3 win.

However, the Detroit Lions blew them out 38-6 in the NFC Divisional Round, smashing any Super Bowl hopes to pieces.

But those Super Bowl hopes would soon come to fruition the following season.

1991 Pacific #107 Emmitt Smith Football Card

1991 Pacific #93 Troy Aikman

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $30

Things were starting to come together for Troy Aikman and the Dallas Cowboys during the 1991 season.

That season, by finishing at 11-5 and second in the NFC East, the Cowboys delivered their first winning season since 1985.

Yet, Troy Aikman wasn't the only quarterback who helped Dallas along the way.

Through the first eleven games, Aikman played exceptionally well, throwing for 2,754 yards and 11 touchdowns with an impressively efficient 65.3% completion percentage.

However, Aikman fell to injury during a Week 12 road game against the Washington Redskins.

In his absence, the Cowboys turned to backup quarterback Steve Beurelein, who helped steer the team to a crucial 24-21 victory.

Buerelein would finish the rest of the regular season under center, helping the team win the last five games to seal a Wild Card berth.

The Cowboys upset the Bears on the road, but Buerlein's time was up when Dallas was down 17-6 at halftime against the Detroit Lions in the Divisional Round.

Head coach Jimmy Johnson put Aikman in the game for the second half, but to no avail.

The Lions proceeded to mop the floor with the Cowboys for a 38-6 win.

1991 Pacific #93 Troy Aikman Football Card

1991 Pacific #633 Aeneas Williams Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $30

After a standout collegiate career at Southern University, Aeneas Williams set his sights on the NFL when the Arizona Cardinals selected him in the third round of the 1991 NFL Draft.

During his rookie season, Williams wasted no time establishing himself as one of the top corners in the league.

In sixteen games (15 starts), Williams combined for 48 tackles while intercepting six passes and recovering two fumbles.

Williams was one of the few bright spots for an awful Arizona Cardinals team that finished 4-12 and fifth in the NFC East.

Denver's rookie linebacker, Mike Croel, ran away with the 1991 Defensive Rookie of the Year honor, but Williams finished third in voting with his impressive debut.

Over his fourteen-year career, Williams would receive eight Pro Bowl selections and three First-Team All-Pro nominations for his lockdown defensive skills.

And he nearly got a Super Bowl ring in 2001, during his first of four seasons with the St. Louis Rams, when they lost a 20-17 heartbreaker to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI.

In 2014, Williams became the first Arizona Cardinal elected to the Hall of Fame, leaving a legacy as one of the best defensive backs of his era.

1991 Pacific #633 Aeneas Williams Rookie Card

1991 Pacific #1 Deion Sanders

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $25

After growing tired of making a two-sport career work between two cities as a New York Yankee and Atlanta Falcon, Deion Sanders signed with the Atlanta Braves for the 1991 MLB season.

Being in Atlanta made things much easier for Sanders, but he wouldn't be able to play for the Braves the entire season.

Beginning on August 1, the Falcons required him to report to training camp, causing him to miss out on the Braves' eventual run to the World Series.

Still, as any true professional would, Sanders made the most of his time with the Braves and did what he could to help their march toward the postseason.

The day before reporting for the Falcons, Sanders smoked a three-run homer off of Pittsburgh's Rick Reed in the bottom of the fifth to help the Braves get the win.

On the football field, Sanders continued to wow football fans with his incredible playmaking ability as a shutdown corner and kick returner.

By season's end, Sanders had earned his first of eight career Pro Bowl selections and Second-team All-Pro honors.

While Bo Jackson's two-sport career sadly came to a close in January 1991, Sanders' was only beginning to take off.

1991 Pacific #1 Deion Sanders Football Card

1991 Pacific #35 Lawrence Taylor

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $25

Since his rookie debut in 1981, when he announced himself to the NFL as the best defender in the league, Lawrence Taylor was a perennial Pro Bowler and All-Pro for ten straight seasons.

Taylor's menacing presence on defense and incredible speed and power allowed him to revolutionize the outside linebacker position.

That changed in 1991.

Fresh off a close 20-19 win over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV the year before, Taylor and the Giants entered the 1991 season with a new head coach, Ray Handley, in charge.

After an eight-year stint and two Super Bowl wins, legendary head coach Bill Parcells had decided to retire (for the first time).

Whether it was the coaching change, a regression because of age, or some other issues, Taylor wasn't the same as he'd been in years past.

Taylor posted just seven sacks in fourteen games, marking the first time since 1983 when he didn't reach double-digit sacks.

At 32 years old, he simply wasn't as explosive.

But it's understandable after the workload he'd endured to that point.

A decline eventually had to come.

In the end, the defending Super Bowl champs finished the 1991 season 8-8 and out of the postseason.

1991 Action Packed #356 Lawrence Taylor Football Card

1991 Pacific Football Cards In Review

Though it received less attention than the mainstream sets like Topps, Fleer and Upper Deck, the 1991 Pacific football card set offered plenty to enjoy.

Aesthetically, the cards featured a unique design and glossy, full-color imagery with plenty of action shots.

Regarding rookie cards, future Hall of Famers Brett Favre and Aeneas Williams made their cardboard debuts in Series 2 of the 660-card checklist.

And hobbyists can find plenty of other stars and Hall of Famers throughout the set.

Unopened Box of 1991 Pacific Football Cards

Despite the huge nostalgic value of these cards, most collector attention is driven primarily by the Brett Favre rookie card.

It's the most valuable in the set, even though the overall value of cards in this set is lower than other sets from 1991.

Still, even though it doesn't get much attention overall, this set is an excellent way to pick up some former stars relatively cheaply.

Ross Uitts

Ross is the founder of Old Sports Cards and has been collecting sports cards for over 30 years. He also loves to write about the hobby and has written for Beckett, Topps, SABR and of course, this website. Need help buying or selling cards or have a general question about the hobby? Contact him at [email protected]

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