Topps Card from Derland Moore’s 11th Season as a New Orleans Saint
Inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame in 1991, Derland Moore joined the team as a 2nd-round draft pick in 1973 and remained a permanent fixture of the Saints defense until 1985. During his 13 seasons in New Orleans he played for 4 different head coaches and 3 different interim head coaches (the Saints have had a few of those back in the day) and reportedly referenced himself as the “losingest player in the NFL”. Indeed, those Saints team from the 1970s and 1980s were not known for racking up many victories.
But Moore remained one of the better players on those defenses during that time. When Bum Phillips arrived in 1981, he was a big part of much improved defense that went from dead last in 1980 to one of the NFL’s Top defenses by 1983. Arguably, the famed Dome Patrol had it’s origins in Bum Phillip’s defensive additions during this time.
The NFL didn’t begin recognizing defensive sacks until 1982. By that time Derland Moore had already been playing 10 years. He is credited with 12 sacks his final seasons with New Orleans but it has been speculated that if sacks had been as an official statistic, Derland would probably have been credited with 40-50 total sacks during his time playoing for the Black and Gold. if so, that number would definitely place him among the Top-10 All-Time Saints Sack Leaders. He almost certainly would have left the Saints as the All-Time Leader in 1985.
The above picture is his Topps Trading Card from 1983. That was the season the Saints were playing for a never-before playoff appearance up until the very last play of the season. As the final seconds ticked the 1983 NFL regular season away, Rams kicker Mike Lansford was booting a 42-yard game-winning field goal to send Los Angeles to a wildcard spot as the Saints, once again, stayed home to watch the playoffs. A 32-year old Derland Moore started all 16 games at Nose Tackle that year and was 4th on the team in sacks with 6. He stayed in New Orleans until 1985.