15 Most Valuable 1991 Score Football Cards

Most Valuable 1991 Score Football Cards


Though it may be somewhat overlooked in the hobby these days, the 1991 Score football card set offers collectors a star-studded checklist.

Some of the biggest legends in NFL history appear one or more times throughout the 686-card checklist...

And a Brett Favre rookie card is also a key feature of the set.

The cards certainly have a very "1990s" look and feel as base cards appear in either a blue or red two-tone design.

If you're into subsets, there are plenty of those in the set that highlight multiple interesting accomplishments of certain players.

It's simply one of those sets from the "junk era" that still packs plenty to enjoy.

And in this guide, we'll take a look at the 15 most valuable in the checklist.

Let's jump right in!

Ross Uitts

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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 Fleer, Pro Set, 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 Score #611 Brett Favre Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $125

Before Brett Favre was Brett Favre, he was a polarizing second-round draft pick riding the pine with the Atlanta Falcons.

Selected 33rd overall in the 1991 NFL Draft, Favre signed a hefty three-year, $1.4 million deal as the presumed heir apparent at starting quarterback.

It wasn’t to be.

Favre’s off-the-field issues with drinking and penchant for sleepless nights in the bar scene immediately placed him at odds with Falcons head coach Jerry Glanville.

“I tried everything with Brett,’’ Glanville said. “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.”

Glanville doubled down on this as the season wore on, infamously proclaiming that it would require a plane crash for Favre to see playing time.

All in all, Favre attempted just four passes in 1991, all of which came in a hopeless 56-17 blowout loss to the Washington Redskins.

Favre’s first career regular-season throw landed in the hands of Redskins linebacker Andre Collins who promptly returned it 15 yards for a touchdown.

Following the 1991 NFL season, Favre’s time in Atlanta ended abruptly as the team traded him to the Green Bay Packers for a first-round selection in the 1992 NFL Draft.

His rookie card is the key to the set and should fetch north of $100 in PSA 10 condition.

1991 Score #611 Brett Favre Rookie Card

1991 Score #1 Joe Montana

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $60

While nobody knew it at the time, the 1991 preseason marked the end of an era for the San Francisco 49ers.

After back-to-back MVP seasons, future Hall-of-Fame starting quarterback Joe Montana had no reason to worry about job security.

And then, out of nowhere, Montana injured his throwing elbow while throwing a 40-yard post pattern on August 13th, 1991 and was prescribed rest and inflammatory shots.

Less than a week later, Montana experienced significant pain in his elbow while warming up for a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers.

After another battery of tests, Montana faced surgery and the team shut him down for the season. Montana ended up missing nearly two full seasons.

In the meantime, Steve Bono and Steve Young replaced him in 1991, leading San Francisco to a 10-6 record and narrowly missing the playoffs due to a head-to-head tiebreaker with the division rival Atlanta Falcons.

In the final game of the 1992 NFL season, Montana returned for the second half of the team's victory over the Detroit Lions but by then, the 36-year-old QB was third on the depth chart behind Young and Bono.

An offseason quarterback controversy ended with a trade and Montana was off to Kansas City to finish his career, signing a three-year, $10 million deal with the Chiefs.

1991 Score #1 Joe Montana Football Card

1991 Score #15 Emmitt Smith

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $50

Emmit Smith entered 1991 fresh off of a strong rookie season in which he captured both Offensive Rookie of the Year and Pro Bowl honors.

The Cowboys had traded up with the Pittsburgh Steelers from the 21st to 17th pick in the 1990 NFL Draft to get him and the move immediately paid dividends.

However, many were still surprised at just how great he was during his sophomore campaign in 1991.

Smith rushed for a league-leading 1,563 yards to go along with 12 rushing touchdowns.

He even caught 49 passes for 258 yards and a touchdown proving he could do more than just run the football.

During the last game of the regular season, Smith showed he had plenty left in the tank as he rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-27 victory over the Falcons to bump the Cowboys into the playoffs.

In two postseason games, Smith rushed for 185 yards and a touchdown before the Detroit Lions sent the Cowboys home with a 38-6 blowout in the Divisional Round.

For his efforts, Smith earned his second-straight Pro Bowl nomination and it was clear to the rest of the NFL that Smith was a force to be reckoned with.

1991 Score #15 Emmitt Smith Football Card

1991 Score #20 Barry Sanders

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $50

Ask any Detroit Lions fan if they remember the 1991 season and they'll likely point out it was one of the best in franchise history.

During the regular season, star running back Barry Sanders was electric as he zigged and zagged to an eye-popping 1,548 rushing yards.

Somehow he didn't lead the league in rushing as another future Hall of Famer, Emmitt Smith, narrowly beat him out with 1,563 rushing yards of his own.

Still, Sanders paced the NFL in rushing yards per game with an average of 103.2 yards per contest, while his sixteen rushing scores also topped everyone else.

But, it was Detroit's 12-4 record and the fact that they made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game that still has Lions fans talking to this day.

Unfortunately, the Washington Redskins blew them out 41-10 in that game and slammed the door shut on any Super Bowl chances they had.

1991 Score #20 Barry Sanders Football Card

1991 Score #380 Jerry Rice

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $50

Jerry Rice was in the midst of his legendary career in 1991, and by his standards, he had a bit of a "down year" during the season.

A "down year" for Jerry Rice is a dream season for most wide receivers, though, as he still caught 80 passes for 2,106 receiving yards while pacing the league with 14 receiving touchdowns.

And he managed to do all of this without Joe Montana as the legendary quarterback with whom he had developed such a strong rapport missed the entire 1991 season due to injury.

Instead, Rice adjusted to the throwing styles of both Steve Young (10 starts) and Steve Bono (6 starts), as each spent considerable time under center that year.

Rice showed his versatility and generational talent in 1991 by proving it didn't matter who his quarterback was because he would still dominate at the wide receiver position.

Despite the disruption at the quarterback position all season long, the San Francisco 49ers scrapped together a 10-6 record.

Unfortunately, thanks to two losses by a combined eight points to the Atlanta Falcons during the regular season, who also finished 10-6, the Falcons got the nod for the final NFC postseason spot.

This tie-breaker snapped a streak of eight-straight seasons in which the 49ers made the playoffs.

1991 Score #380 Jerry Rice Football Card

1991 Score #100 Bo Jackson

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40

Headed into the turn of the decade in the late 1980s, Bo Jackson was riding high at the top of the sports world.

A singular athletic talent with charisma to spare, Jackson's two-sport exploits made him a household name.

His impressive feats with Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals and the NFL's Los Angeles Raiders dominated newspaper sports sections and water cooler conversations around the nation.

However, it all came crashing down with a freak injury in the 1991 NFL Playoffs.

After breaking free for a 34-yard scamper in the Raiders' 20-10 AFC Divisional Round victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, the first-time Pro Bowl selection was wrapped up and brought to the turf with a visually unremarkable tackle.

Jackson remained on the ground, writhing in pain as the force of the impact and the angle at which he fell dislocated his left hip.

A few weeks after the injury, Jackson's NFL career came to an end.

Diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the left hip joint and missing all supporting cartilage in the area, Jackson had no choice but to retire from football.

He was still able to resurrect his baseball career, playing parts of the 1991 and 1993 seasons for the White Sox before finishing things off with the California Angels in 1994.

1991 Score #100 Bo Jackson Football Card

1991 Score #620 Joe Montana

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40

The "Team MVP" subset spanned cards #620 - 647 in the Second Series and featured some of the era's biggest names.

Each team was represented by one player in the subset and where the choice may have been easy for most teams, Score probably had a tough time choosing between Joe Montana or Jerry Rice for the 49ers card.

Cards in the subset featured an artwork representation of each player in action with a nice blurb on the back outlining his achievements.

Montana's card spoke to how many viewed him as the best quarterback in NFL history at the time while also documenting certain accolades from the previous season and his career.

1991 Score #620 Joe Montana Football Card
1991 Score #620 Joe Montana Team MVP Football Card Reverse Side

1991 Score #641 Bo Jackson

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40

Bo Jackson continues to be one of the biggest names of the era in the hobby today, so it's no surprise to see his "Team MVP" card make this list.

The artwork on the card perfectly illustrates Jackson's size and strength as he barrels down the field in his Raiders uniform.

The reverse of the card outlines just how much of a dual-threat he and teammate Marcus Allen were for the Raiders as they both racked up considerable yardage.

By highlighting some of his long runs, the card also explained Jackson's ability to break out for the occasional huge run while also giving the nod to his eye-popping statistic of 5.6 yards per carry.

1991 Score #641 Bo Jackson Football Card
1991 Score #641 Bo Jackson Team MVP Football Card Reverse Side

1991 Score #665 Jerry Rice

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40

Though he didn't make the "Team MVP" subset, Jerry Rice was a no-brainer to be included in another subset dubbed "The Leaders".

Like the "Team MVP" subset, this subset also featured player artwork but with a different spin: instead of one image of the player, each of them was showcased by using a collage of multiple images.

Rice's card packs a tremendous amount of eye appeal.

One image of him catching a pass and another of him being brought down by a Cincinnati Bengals defender anchor the larger image of him on the sidelines.

The reverse of the card notably features a full-color photo version of the image of him on the bench used on the front of the card.

Score also used the reverse to detail some of his many accomplishments as one of the top receivers in the game.

1991 Score #665 Jerry Rice Football Card
1991 Score #665 Jerry Rice The Leader Football Card Reverse Side

1991 Score #385 Dan Marino

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35

Despite the Miami Dolphins' struggles in 1991, Dan Marino continued to perform at an elite level as he threw for 3,970 yards and 25 touchdowns versus 13 interceptions.

Not surprisingly, Marino remained firmly entrenched near the top of the list of best quarterbacks in the NFL, earning his sixth of nine Pro Bowl nominations.

However, the Dolphins couldn't seem to put everything together during the season and finished with an 8-8 record to miss out on the playoffs.

With 61,361 passing yards and 420 passing touchdowns over his Hall of Fame career, there is no question that Marino remains one of the best, if not the best, players in NFL history never to win a Super Bowl.

1991 Score #385 Dan Marino Football Card

1991 Score #395 Deion Sanders

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35

Bo Jackson wasn't the only superstar two-sport athlete trying his hand at playing in both the NFL and MLB during the late 80s and early 90s.

Deion Sanders was also trying to make a name for himself as someone who could defy the odds and play at the highest levels in both sports.

But, when Bo Jackson injured his hip during a playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals in January 1991, his career on the gridiron ended abruptly.

So, headed into the 1991 NFL Regular Season, Deion Sanders was by himself to carry the two-sport torch.

By then, Sanders was entering his third NFL season in 1991 and produced at a high level en route to his first Pro Bowl selection and a Second-Team All-Pro nomination.

Sanders totaled a career-high (at the time) 6 interceptions to go along with one touchdown and two forced fumbles.

He was also an exceptional kick/punt returner for the Atlanta Falcons and could completely change the course of a game with his electric athleticism when returning kicks.

Sanders was unquestionably one of the more valuable players in the entire league based on his versatility.

1991 Score #395 Deion Sanders Football Card

1991 Score #410 John Elway

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35

John Elway was 31 years old and still performing at a high level in 1991 for the Denver Broncos in his ninth season with the storied franchise.

In sixteen starts, Elway completed 53.7% of his 451 passing attempts for 3,253 as he led the Broncos to a 12-4 record and first-place finish in the AFC West.

His thirteen touchdowns were the third-lowest total of his career, but fortunately, his twelve interceptions were also among his lowest.

However, Elway couldn't have cared less about personal stats at that point in his career, as he was desperate to lead the Broncos to a Super Bowl victory.

Remember, he had already come up short in the Super Bowl three times during the 1980s.

After getting past the Houston Oilers in the AFC Divisional Round, Elway had his sights set on a potential fourth shot at the Super Bowl with only the Buffalo Bills standing in his way in the AFC Championship Game.

It wasn't to be, though, as the Bills completely shut him down as he went just 11-21 for 121 yards while tossing a critical interception that Bills linebacker Carlton Bailey returned for Buffalo's only touchdown.

Reserve quarterback replaced Elway and pulled the Broncos to within three points when he ran the ball for a three-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter but they ultimately fell short 10-7.

Elway would have to settle for his fourth Pro Bowl appearance but he'd eventually get his Super Bowl rings later in the 90s.

1991 Score #410 John Elway Football Card

1991 Score #225 Troy Aikman

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $30

The 1991 season was a successful albeit short one for Troy Aikman.

In his third year under center for the Dallas Cowboys, Aikman threw for 2,754 yards with 11 touchdown passes in twelve games at the helm.

His 65.3% completion percentage marked an incredible jump from his 56.6% mark the year before as the future Hall of Famer made better decisions with the football.

Unfortunately, his breakout season was cut short when he fell to injury during a Week 12 road game against the division rival Washington Redskins.

Back-up Steve Beurelein filled in nicely, helping the Cowboys to beat the Redskins 24-21 in that game while also winning the next four games to clink a Wild Card spot in the playoffs.

Beurelein kept his foot on the gas, helping the Cowboys to an upset win on the road against the #4 seed Chicago Bears to put the team in a Divisional Round showdown against the Detroit Lions.

Trailing 17-6 at halftime, Dallas decided to replace Beurelein with Aikman. Unfortunately, the future Hall of Famer failed to provide the much-needed spark and the Lions blew out the Cowboys 38-6.

Still, it was a successful season for Aikman as he earned his first of six Pro Bowl appearances.

1991 Score #225 Troy Aikman Football Card

1991 Score #529 Lawrence Taylor

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $30

As the Giants were coming off a thrilling 20-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV, Hall of Fame linebacker Lawerence Taylor entered the 1991 season at 32 years old under a cloud of uncertainty.

After eight-straight seasons under legendary head coach Bill Parcells, Taylor had to adjust to the style of new head coach Ray Handley.

Whether it was his age, the coaching change, or other factors, Taylor wasn't the same player he used to be.

He still featured some of the best instincts at the linebacker position as he tallied seven sacks and recovered two fumbles.

But after ten-straight Pro Bowl appearances to start his career, Taylor was left off the roster for the first time in his career.

The downside of Taylor's extraordinary career was in plain view.

The Giants finished with an 8-8 record and failed to miss the playoffs, while many were left wondering what LT's future in New York would be.

1991 Score #529 Lawrence Taylor Football Card

1991 Score #575 Ricky Watters Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $25

Ricky Watters led the Fighting Irish in receiving yards during Notre Dame's road to winning the 1988 national championship with a 34-21 victory over West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl.

Those skilled hands would prove invaluable later in the NFL as he established himself as an incredible pass-catching running back who posed a dual-threat to opposing defenses.

Though the San Francisco 49ers drafted Watters in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft, he sat out the entire 1991 season due to injury.

Once healthy, Watters wasted no time showcasing his remarkable talent during the 1992 season when he earned his first of five-straight Pro Bowl appearances.

He would also prove to be a centerpiece of the 49ers' offense that completely dismantled the NFL during the 1994 season that culminated with a Super Bowl XXIX blowout over the Chargers 49-26.

1991 Score #575 Ricky Watters Rookie Card

1991 Score Football Cards In Review

Even if it hit store shelves during the "junk era" of the sports card hobby, there are still some cards in this set that can have value when graded in top condition.

Monetary value aside, there is also plenty of nostalgia to be found within the 686-card checklist.

Some of the era's biggest names like Joe Montana, Bo Jackson, Jerry Rice, Barry Sanders, Dan Marino, and several others offered collectors then and now an excellent way to collect their favorite players.

Unopened Box of 1991 Score Football Cards

There were also several different subsets, including:

  • 1991 Rookies (Throughout set)
  • 90+ Club (#320 - 328)
  • Team MVP (#620 - 647)
  • Crunch Crew (#648 - 654)
  • Sack Attack (#655 - 661)
  • The Leaders (#662 - 669)
  • Hall of Fame (#670 - 674)
  • Dream Team (#331 - 345; #676 - 686)

And, the Brett Favre rookie card is still a key one to add for any Favre or football card collector.

Values aside, though, this set will always have its place in the hobby as one of the best early 90s football card sets.

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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