The Key Rookie Cards From Topps’ 1984 Football Set

by Todd Neikirk

051523B-1024x536 The Key Rookie Cards From Topps' 1984 Football SetThe 1983 NFL draft is one of the most famous in league history. 6 quarterbacks were selected in the First Round, 3 of whom would become Hall of Famers. But this draft wasn’t just about the quarterbacks. Four other First Round draft picks would also go on to Hall of Fame careers.

Topps 1984 set, now considered to be an iconic set, featured the first-year cards for many of those players. Here are some of the most sought-after rookie issues. 

Howie Long #111 

Howie-Long-177x300 The Key Rookie Cards From Topps' 1984 Football Set

Image via Goldin Auctions

Long actually entered the NFL in 1981 after he was selected in the Second Round by the then-Oakland Raiders. He would become a dominant defender for the Silver and Black, regularly finishing near the top of the league in sack totals. The Hall of Famer would go on to become a 3 time First Team All-Pro and play in 8 Pro-Bowls. 

The Defensive End’s first card didn’t come until the 1984 set. It has maintained solid value over the years as Long stayed in the public eye as an actor and NFL broadcaster. The Raider’s rookie can be had for around $900 in PSA 10 condition. 

Eric Dickerson #280 

Eric-Dickerson-178x300 The Key Rookie Cards From Topps' 1984 Football Set

Image via PWCC

After a record-breaking career at SMU, the bespectacled Eric Dickerson was taken with the 2nd overall pick in the 1984 draft. His success would continue in the NFL as he won Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Pro honors in his first season. He followed that the next year by becoming the second member of the NFL’s 2,000-yard rushing club.

The toll on his body eventually caught up with Dickerson and he retired after the 1993 season. He was elected into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1999. His rookie card, number 280, remains popular to this day and sells for $1700 in a PSA 10. 

Dan Marino #123

Dan-Marino-Rookie-191x300 The Key Rookie Cards From Topps' 1984 Football Set

Image via PWCC

It was clear to anyone who saw Dan Marino play at the University of Pittsburgh that the quarterback had superstar ability. But he had a poor senior season and was dogged by questions about recreational drug use. The Miami Dolphins stopped his fall in the draft by selecting him 27th overall. He would reward them with a Hall of Fame career. 

Marino spent the 80s and 90s shattering records and making the Pro Bowl 9 times. He even played a key role in the hit movie, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Marino’s iconic 1984 rookie card is still heavily sought after today and goes for around $4,500 in a PSA 10. 

Darrell Green #380 

Darrell-Green-179x300 The Key Rookie Cards From Topps' 1984 Football Set

Image via PWCC

Darrell Green only stood at 5 foot 9 inches tall. The cornerback was strong though, and he was blisteringly fast. At Texas A&M Kingsville, Green starred not only on the football team, but on the track team as well. Washington made him the last pick of the first round in the 1983 Draft. 

The pick would pay big dividends. Considered to be one of the greatest corners of all time, the Hall of Famer made 7 Pro-Bowl teams and won two Super Bowl Rings. His first-year card from Topps sells for around $500 in a PSA 10. 

John Elway #63

Elway-Rookie-179x300 The Key Rookie Cards From Topps' 1984 Football Set

Image via eBay

Elway was the first selection of the draft. He refused to play for Baltimore Colts and was traded to the Denver Broncos. Elway would quickly become a star, making 9 Pro Bowls, winning an MVP Award and winning two Super Bowl titles. 

The quarterback’s 1984 Topps rookie card is considered to be one of the most iconic in the hobby. A PSA 10 copy of the card can get quite expensive, regularly selling for more than $6,000. 

Annual_Membership_Footer The Key Rookie Cards From Topps' 1984 Football Set*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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Kendall May 16, 2023 - 5:56 pm

Please tell me what this has to do with comic books and why this was listed in the “Comic Collector’s Corner” email? I am VERY confused…

Sarah Thomas May 17, 2023 - 10:34 am

Hey Kendall, apologies for the confusion. This one got miscategorized.


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