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Terrell Owens (True) Rookie Cards

With their 1st Pick in the 3rd Round of the 1996 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected Terrell Owens from Chattanooga University. Terrell Owens has 10 true rookie cards and 13 rookie parallel cards.

Terrell Owens Did NOT Suffer from Low Self-Esteem

Typically when I write about any player I do not like to focus on the drama that individuals allegedly have had in their lives. If you look at the ABOUT page you will notice that I decided long ago that this website is to inspire collectors to gain greater respect and appreciation for the featured Hall of Famer.

Terrell Eldorado Owens also known as T.O. has challenged my optimism!

Watching his career unfold over the years and the hours of research I put in, I noticed something, constant drama surrounded the playing career of T.O. It didn’t matter which of the five teams he played for, trouble just seemed to follow him.

He’s been accused of causing division within the team. Of being arrogant and selfish. Disrespectful. I’m sure there are other adjectives but you get the picture.

Folks these are documented accusations and I understand why people would feel this way because T.O. did not suffer from low self-esteem, and constantly made statements like this:

“I just love me some me!” (one of his favorite replies)

“Who can make a play? I can!” (he would ask multiple team mates)

“I told you they love to hate me!” (then grinned with his big smile)

Terrell Owens, Maybe Better Than You Think

However, laying all the accusations, cockiness, and flamboyant touchdown celebrations aside one must consider the facts. I know I’m asking a lot but hear me out.

Terrell Owens played for 15 years and he accumulated 15,934 career receiving yards and that ranks him second all-time! And his 153 receiving touchdowns rank him third all-time! Emphasis on all-time, he ranks in the top three wide-receivers in NFL history!

This fact alone should make our eyebrows rise when considering the purchases of Terrell Owens rookie cards.

He is also known for having football savvy, on-field intelligence, and a great physical specimen. Terrell Owens outran, out jumped, outmuscled any defender that dared to line up against him. And let’s not forget how his play captivated America.

Truth be told, you can not tell the story of the NFL between 1996-2016 without mentioning Terrell Owens, he was just that good.

Feelings aside we must consider these two important facts: 1) his antics and controversy never affected his productivity and 2) he is not the first flamboyant football player and he won’t be the last.

Career Stats & Accomplishments

According to Terrell Owens career numbers are: Games 219 | Receptions 1,078 | Receiving Yards 15,934 (3rd All-Time) | Touchdowns 153 (3rd All-Time)


  • 6x Pro Bowler
  • 5x All-Pro
  • 2011 NFL Top 100 (91)

Terrell Owens True Rookie Cards:

1996 Bowman’s Best, #147 (RC)

Leading us off, is a brand that is a hobby favorite. Great action photograph ‘catching’ Terrell Owens doing what he did best. Card back is well balanced and thought out, giving us a different narrative with Resume, Skills, and Up Close. Parallels include Refractors and the collector favorite Atomic Refractors.

1996 Collector’s Choice Update, #U59 (RC)

Clean card design for this basic Upper Deck product. This 200 card update set was released in packs and distributed Nationally therefore, qualifying as a true rookie card. Great image of Terrell Owens mingling with fans. The card back is a bit choppy and unbalanced.

No parallels we’re included in this one. This one is perhaps the most affordable Terrell Owens rookie card.

1996 Crown Royale, #39 (RC)

Pacific released this beauty of a set for a second consecutive year. Their niche? All die-cut design in the shape of a crown, a card design simply ahead of its time. The card front gives us an action photo and plenty of gold foil.

Two parallels are included; Crown Royale Blue found in hobby packs and feature blue foil highlights replacing the gold ones. Crown Royale Silver does more of the same but is found in retail packs.

1996 Donruss, #237 (RC)

Personally, I don’t like photos in practice gear but I can’t deny the swag this borderless action photo design gives collectors. The big ROOKIE star emblem inside of a football is epic.

The card back gives us more awesomeness, a well-balanced design, and a great color scheme matching 49er’s colors.

There is one parallel. Donruss Press Proof with gold foil highlights and a print run of only 2000 copies.

1996 Finest, #338 (RC)

This classic Topps Finest design is a collector favorite. Big bold font, dark brown borders, and that protective film make it hard not to love this design. However, the card back will have you reaching for your sunglasses. There is one parallel included, the popular Refractor variant for your collecting pleasure.

1996 Pacific, #381 (RC)

Senior Bowl uniform works for some collectors but not for me. However, great action photos and lots of gold foil encompass the card front. Card back doesn’t make much sense to me, the design seems like broken glass and doesn’t go with the overall theme of the card.

There are three parallels. Pacific Blue, found in hobby packs and offers a blue foil front instead of gold foil. Red, found in retail packs, and Silver, found only in retail also.

1996 Pacific Invincible, #132 (RC)

Fantastic design for a 1996 product, Pacific called it “Cel” technology. The back of the card lacks bio and stats, and the photography seems a bit generic. I would like this card a lot more if it wasn’t for the college uniforms.

However, the parallels in these look amazing. Bronze parallels are found in hobby packs at a rate of 1:6 packs. Silvers were found in retail packs and are also 1:6 packs. Platinum Blue parallel was found in both hobby and retail packs but at a much harder 1:25 packs.

1996 Skybox Impact Rookies, #62 (RC)

This one has a fantastic action photo! Borderless front limits distractions, which is good because we don’t need anything taking away from the photo. I was a little confused with Owens’s name in the background. Seems blurred, I thought my eyes were going bad. There are no parallels in this set.

1996 Stadium Club, #342 (RC)

It appears that the defender shown in this photo featuring Terrell Owens doesn’t have a chance. An obvious size advantage goes to our featured HOF. This is a very creative design with a photo sitting inside of a goalpost design, that’s different. The card back is well balanced with multiple font colors.

There is one parallel of this card “Stadium Club Members Only” however, it is not considered a rookie card because of its limited print run and distribution method.

1996 Upper Deck SP, #7 (RC)

Look at this thing! Can anyone say badass! I’m thinking of stealth mode. Classy. Muscle Card. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this one has fantastic eye appeal.

More of the same on the card back and it gives collectors extended statistical information. This high-end product was an absolute hit with collectors! There are no parallels in this set. This is the most desired Terrell Owens rookie card among collectors, and the most valuable.

I wanted to end this post by recommending another article of someone very similar to Terrell Owens, you can click the link here to see the rookie cards of Randy Moss.

Happy Collecting Collectors,

Learn. Collect. Enjoy.