Roger Staubach Rookie Cards: The Ultimate Collector’s Guide
When I was a kid, I never really got a chance to see a 1972 Topps Roger Staubach rookie card let alone own one.
It just wasn’t on my radar as a collector.
I was more into baseball cards and the few football cards that I did collect were those of my heroes like Joe Montana, Dan Marino and Jerry Rice.
As I’ve gotten older, though, my appreciation for vintage football cards has really soared.
And Staubach’s rookie card is one that I hold in high esteem. He is nothing short of a football legend and knew how to win.
These days, his rookie card is extremely popular and has grown to be one of the most valuable football cards in the hobby.
And in this guide, I go over the key things you should know before you buy.
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Roger Staubach Rookie Card Value
The first thing most collectors ask is: how much is a Roger Staubach rookie card worth?
In top condition, it can sell for well into the five figure range.
The key is finding one that hasn’t been worn and torn over the years.
One that will stand up well against the strictest professional grading standards.
Professional grading is the easiest way to help judge a card’s value and Professional Sports Authenticators (PSA) are usually thought to be the benchmark in that industry.
According to the PSA SMR price guide, current market values are:
PSA 10 GEM MINT: $30,000
PSA 9 MINT: $12,500
PSA 8 NM-MT: $1,300
But, what if your Staubach rookie card isn’t professionally graded?
How do you determine its market value?
Buyers and sellers should focus on several key factors that professional graders look at such as:
- Centering – From top to bottom and left to right, how well is the card centered? Centering is probably the biggest concern for most collectors. On the front side, if a card exhibits no worse than 55/45 to 60/40 on the front and 75/25 on the back then it is usually considered a centered card.
- Corners – You want to see sharp corners. Ideally “razor sharp” as many auctioneers and sellers like to say. Round corners are signs of heavy use and are eye sores.
- Edges – Nice clean edges go a long way to help a card’s eye appeal. Sometimes you’ll see vintage cards that were poorly cut and don’t have nice clean edges. Professional graders (and collectors) will make exceptions for cards with known cut issues. But when possible, you want to see edges free of chipping and notches.
- Surface – One of the easiest ways to ruin a card’s value is if it has a crease in it. Other issues like indentation, marking, scratching, and staining can significantly reduce a card’s value.
You can always refer to cards listed for sale online as a reference only. See what a Gem Mint 10 or NM-MT 8 looks like by finding current examples listed for sale.
But please be careful and remember those are only references.
It’s just too tough to notice some condition issues, especially surface and gloss issues, by looking at you card with the naked eye and comparing it to a professionally graded copy online.
Remember: Professional graders use high-tech optical equipment when reviewing them and grading them. They can see errors you can’t.
Here’s a copy of a PSA Gem Mint 10 example that exhibits good centering, sharp corners, clear surface and clean edges. Everything you’d want to see as a high-grade collector.
Distinction: This is his only recognized mainstream rookie card. There are a few other oddball Staubach cards from 1972 that we’ll discuss a bit later but this is the Staubach rookie card everyone wants. The 1972 Topps set includes other Hall of Fame rookie cards like John Riggins, Ted Hendricks and Larry Little as well as star cards of Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw and Johnny Unitas. But Staubach’s rookie is by far and away the most desired and most expensive in the set.
Number: This is card #200 in a set of 351 cards.
Design: Topps went with a fairly straightforward design in 1972. Block lettering, straight borders, and large shots of players kept things clean and simple. The cards measured 2-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches and were printed with both horizontal and vertical layouts. Staubach is shown looking off to the distance with the Cowboys team name up top and his name and position superimposed over his image at the bottom. m of the picture and superimposed over the image.
Reverse Side: The back of Staubach’s rookie is printed with a horizontal layout and contains his personal information and statistics from the previous three seasons. There is also a nice write-up on the successes he enjoyed during the 1971 season and his 1972 Super Bowl MVP. In the bottom left corner there is also an interesting tidbit about how Staubach was in the real estate business in the off-season.
Condition Issues: The card can sometimes be off-centered and the corners can be a bit prone to showing wear easily.
Oddball Staubach Rookie Cards
1972 NFLPA Iron Ons #32
First on the list of these oddball Staubach rookies in his 1972 NFLPA Iron Ons issue. They aren’t overly expensive but can be difficult to find in top grade due to the black borders.
Estimated PSA 9 Value: $85
1972 NFLPA Wonderful World Stamps #105
There were 390 stamps in this set and Staubach’s sits at #105. The pose of Staubach is the same used on the 1972 Iron Ons above but zoomed out to include his famous #12 jersey.
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $60
1972 NFLPA Vinyl Stickers #18
These stickers are pretty cool and Staubach’s features the legendary quarterback dropping back for a pass. The oversized head gives it a comical touch but it’s still a desirable issue for any Staubach collector.
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $65
1972 Sunoco Stamps #153
The Sun Oil Company issued these stamps in 1972 and at the time was the largest set of football cards ever produced. There were 624 in total and Staubach’s sits at #153. To keep collectors interested, a different nine-stamp booklet was released each week with any gasoline purchase to help promote the collection. They’re probably the most desired and most expensive of these oddball issues.
Estimated PSA 9 Value: $200 – $300
Roger Staubach’s Legacy
Roger Staubach was one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game.
He had an outstanding collegiate career at the U.S. Naval Academy and won the the Heisman Trophy in 1963. His NFL career was then delayed a bit by a tour in Vietnam to fulfill his military obligations from the Academy.
In 1969 he would finally set foot on a pro football field after joining the Dallas Cowboys. He would go on to play for them for eleven seasons in total.
As a Cowboy, he led the team to five Super Bowls and won two of them, Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl XII.
A six-time Pro Bowler, Staubach may not have put up the jaw-dropping stats that today’s quarterbacks do but remember he played in a different era under different rules.
What he did was win.
He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2004 in his first year of eligibility.
Roger Staubach rookie cards will continue to remain high on the list of many football card collectors’ want lists for quite some time.