Ed "Too Tall" Jones

Ed Lee Jones (born October 21, 1950), commonly known as Ed "Too Tall" Jones, is a retired American football player who played 15 seasons (1974–1978, 1980–1989) in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys.[1] In 1979, he briefly left football to attempt a career in professional boxing.[2]

Ed "Too Tall" Jones
refer to caption
Jones signs autographs in January 2014.
No. 72
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born:October 21, 1950 (age 68)[1]
Jackson, Tennessee
Height:6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Weight:271 lb (123 kg)
Career information
High school:Jackson (TN) Central Merry
College:Tennessee State
NFL Draft:1974 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Sacks:57.5 (unofficially=106)
Fumble Recoveries:19
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Jones was born in Jackson, Tennessee. He attended Jackson Central Merry High School where he played baseball and basketball. He only played three football games, because his high school did not support the sport until his senior year. His basketball skills earned him All-America honors and scholarship offers from several Division I (NCAA) programs. He also had offers from Major League Baseball teams to play first base in their farm systems.

As a senior, he fought a Golden Gloves boxing match, recording a knockout of his opponent in less than a minute. He stopped shortly after that, when his basketball coach read an article about the fight, and made him choose between basketball and boxing.

College career

He signed with Tennessee State University to play basketball, but left the team after two seasons, to concentrate on playing football under head coach John Merritt.

The 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) Jones received his famous nickname during his first football practice, after a teammate mentioned that his pants didn't fit, because he was “too tall to play football".[3] In his new sport, he became a two-time All-American defensive lineman, playing on a team that only lost 2 games, en route to winning the black college football national championship in 1971 and 1973.

Jones ranks third in school history in sacks in a season (12) and fifth in career sacks (38). In 1999, he was voted to the 50th Anniversary Senior Bowl All-Time Team.[4]

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys (first stint)

In the 1974 NFL Draft, for the first time in their history, the Dallas Cowboys had the first overall draft choice. The No. 1 selection was acquired from the Houston Oilers in exchange for Tody Smith and Billy Parks. The Cowboys ended up drafting Jones, making him the first football player from a historically black college to go that high in the NFL draft.

He became a starter at left defensive end during his second season in 1975 and by 1977 he had helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl XII. After playing five years for the Cowboys from 1974 through 1978, Jones at 28 years old and in the prime of his athletic career, left football to attempt a professional boxing career.

Boxing career

A former Golden Gloves fighter in Tennessee, Jones would fight six professional bouts as a heavyweight, with a perfect 6–0 record and five knockouts.[5] Due to his high profile as a football player, all of Jones' fights were televised nationally, by CBS.

His pro boxing debut, held in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on November 3, 1979, was controversial. Despite giving away over fifty pounds, opponent Abraham Yaqui Meneses dropped Jones with a left hook in the sixth and final round, then hit him again (illegally) when Jones was down. Jones' cornerman then entered the ring (also illegally) and attempted to revive his fighter with an ammonia bottle. Referee Buddy Basilico reasoned that since both fighters had broken the rules, he would punish neither of them, and let the fight go on. Jones survived the round and was awarded a narrow majority decision, causing the pro-Meneses crowd to boo loudly.[6]

The Meneses bout was the only one of Jones' fights he would not win by knockout. But his other five opponents were journeymen at best, with the arguable exception of Mexican heavyweight champ Fernando Montes, whom Jones knocked out in just 44 seconds on November 24, 1979. After his last ring appearance on January 26, 1980, Jones announced he would return to play for the Dallas Cowboys. In a 2016 interview, Jones called boxing his favorite sport and said that fighting "was probably the best decision [he] ever made," because his boxing training regimen made him a better football player.[7]

Dallas Cowboys (second stint)

1986 Jeno's Pizza - 23 - Eric Dickerson and Barry Redden (Too Tall Jones crop)
Jones playing with the Cowboys during the 1985 season.

He returned to play for the 1980 season, replacing John Dutton at defensive end and performing better than his first stint with the team.

Jones earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors three times from 1981 to 1983. He retired at the end of the 1989 season, having never missed a game, playing the most games by any Cowboys player (232) and being tied with Mark Tuinei and Bill Bates for most seasons (15).[8]

Jones was one of the most dominant defensive players of his era, playing in 16 playoff games and three Super Bowls. He was part of three NFC championship teams and the Super Bowl XII champion. His success batting down passes convinced the NFL to keep track of it as an official stat.[9]

The NFL didn't start recognizing quarterback sacks as an official stat until 1982; although the Cowboys have their own records, dating back before the 1982 season. According to the Cowboys' stats, Jones is unofficially credited with a total of 106 quarterback sacks (third most in team history) and officially with 57.5. He is the fifth leading tackler in franchise history with 1,032.

In 1985, he achieved a career high of 13 sacks.

Personal life

Jones was a guest referee at the World Wrestling Federation's WrestleMania 2 pay-per-view in 1986. He refereed from outside of the ring during the 20-man battle royale which included American football stars of the day.

Jones starred in a GEICO commercial that initially aired in late 2009. The commercial rhetorically asks if Jones is indeed "too tall," then confirms it by showing a nurse attempting to measure his height, but breaking the medical scale's height rod when it doesn't reach high enough. The nurse then mutters, "I'm just going to guesstimate."[10]


  1. ^ a b NFL.com, "Too Tall Jones, DE". Nfl.com (2012-12-31). Retrieved on 2013-07-13.
  2. ^ EdTooTallJones.com, "Ed 'Too Tall' Jones, Bio" Archived 2012-01-12 at the Wayback Machine. Edtootalljones.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-13.
  3. ^ Ed (Too Tall) Jones is a great athlete who has never lived – 05.04.81 – SI Vault. Sportsillustrated.cnn.com (1981-05-04). Retrieved on 2013-07-13.
  4. ^ "Twenty-six of the greatest names in NFL history make the elite club chosen by fans as part of the game's 50th Game Celebration". Archived from the original on July 10, 2009. Retrieved 2013-07-13.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). seniorbowl.com
  5. ^ "Ed Jones". boxrec.com.
  6. ^ "Ed (Too Tall) Jones vs. Abraham Yaqui Meneses". boxrec.com.
  7. ^ "Ed "Too Tall" Jones: Boxing Was 'Best Decision'". NESN. February 5, 2016 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Cowboys Top 50 List: No. 26 Ed Too Tall Jones". Archived from the original on July 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-20.. dallascowboys.com (June 18, 2009)
  10. ^ Geico 'Too Tall' Jones on YouTube. Retrieved on 2013-07-13.

External links

1974 NFL Draft

The 1974 National Football League draft took place at the Americana Hotel in New York City, New York, on January 29–30, 1974. Each of the 26 NFL teams were granted 17 selections for a total of 442 picks.Many experts consider the 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers to have had the best draft in NFL history as they selected four players later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster). The closest any other team has come to this success in a draft is the Dallas Cowboys’ 1964 draft, when three Hall of Famers were taken.The Houston Oilers had the first pick in the 1974 draft based on their one-win record in 1973, but they traded the first overall pick—as well as the first pick of the third round, #53 overall—to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for defensive end Tody Smith and wide receiver Billy Parks. Dallas used the two picks to select two future Pro Bowlers, defensive end Ed "Too Tall" Jones and quarterback Danny White.

This was the first NFL draft since 1938 to not have any quarterbacks taken in the first round, and one of only five. Along with 1988, it is the only draft where no quarterback was taken in the first two rounds, and 1974 is generally regarded as one of the worst quarterback draft classes of all time, with only fourth round pick Mike Boryla reaching the Pro Bowl, and even Boryla was out of the NFL by 1978.

1980 in country music

This is a list of notable events in country music that took place in the year 1980.

1987 Dallas Cowboys season

The 1987 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 28th season in the National Football League, they improved the record to 7-8 from 1986, but missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

ARIA Music Awards of 1992

The Sixth Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards (generally known as the ARIA Music Awards or simply The ARIAS) was held on 6 March 1992 at the World Congress Centre in Melbourne. Hosts were international guest, Julian Lennon and local Richard Wilkins, they were assisted by presenters, Spinal Tap, Rod Stewart and Mick Jones to distribute 24 awards. There were live performances and the awards were televised.In addition to previous categories, a "Special Achievement Award" was presented to entrepreneur Michael Gudinski and his label Mushroom Records. The ARIA Hall of Fame inducted only one act: Skyhooks.

Bill Gregory

William Penn Gregory, Jr. (born December 14, 1949) is a former American football defensive lineman in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks. He played college football at the University of Wisconsin.

Billy Walker (musician)

William Marvin Walker (January 14, 1929 – May 21, 2006) was an American country music singer and guitarist best known for his 1962 hit, "Charlie's Shoes". Nicknamed The Tall Texan, Walker had more than 30 charted records during a nearly 60-year career; and was a longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Doomsday Defense

The Doomsday Defense was the defense of the Dallas Cowboys American football team during the dynasty years of the late 1960s - 1970s. This defense was the backbone of the Cowboys' dynasty, which won two Super Bowls (VI, XII) and played in three more (V, X and XIII).

The Doomsday Defense is often recognized as having two different "generations," but different listings of players and time periods exist. The original "Doomsday Defense" can generally be identified as the Cowboys' defenses from 1966 to 1974. "Doomsday II" had its heyday from approximately 1975 to 1982. Many Cowboy fans recognize the defense from 1992 to 1996 as "Doomsday III", though to a lesser extent. This defense was in part, responsible for the Cowboys being the first team to ever win three Super Bowls in a four-year span.

The first defensive player to be named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Super Bowl was linebacker Chuck Howley (V). Later linemen Harvey Martin and Randy White became the first (and only) teammates (co-MVPs) to win the award (XII).

Ernie Stautner

Ernest Alfred Stautner (April 20, 1925 – February 16, 2006) was a German-born American football coach and defensive tackle in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Boston College.

George Jones

George Glenn Jones (September 12, 1931 – April 26, 2013) was an American musician, singer and songwriter. He achieved international fame for his long list of hit records, including his best known song "He Stopped Loving Her Today", as well as his distinctive voice and phrasing. For the last twenty years of his life, Jones was frequently referred to as the greatest living country singer. Country music scholar Bill Malone writes, "For the two or three minutes consumed by a song, Jones immerses himself so completely in its lyrics, and in the mood it conveys, that the listener can scarcely avoid becoming similarly involved." Waylon Jennings expressed a similar opinion in his song "It's Alright": "If we all could sound like we wanted to, we'd all sound like George Jones." The shape of his nose and facial features earned Jones the nickname "The Possum."Born in Texas, Jones first heard country music when he was seven and was given a guitar at the age of nine. He married his first wife, Dorothy Bonvillion, in 1950, and was divorced in 1951. He served in the United States Marine Corps and was discharged in 1953. He married Shirley Ann Corley in 1954. In 1959, Jones recorded "White Lightning," written by J. P. Richardson, which launched his career as a singer. His second marriage ended in divorce in 1968; he married fellow country music singer Tammy Wynette a year later. Years of alcoholism compromised his health and led to his missing many performances, earning him the nickname "No Show Jones." After his divorce from Wynette in 1975, Jones married his fourth wife, Nancy Sepulvado, in 1983 and became sober for good in 1999. Jones died in 2013, aged 81, from hypoxic respiratory failure.

During his career, Jones had more than 150 hits, both as a solo artist and in duets with other artists. Robert Christgau has called him "honky-tonk's greatest honky".

Jethro Pugh

Jethro Pugh Jr. (July 3, 1944 – January 7, 2015) was an American football defensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys for fourteen seasons. He played college football at Elizabeth City State College.

John Merritt

John Ayers Merritt (January 26, 1926 – December 13, 1983) was a head football coach at Jackson State University and Tennessee State University. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

He was born in Falmouth, Kentucky, and is an alumnus of Kentucky State University, where he played guard on the football team from 1947 to 1949. He earned the nickname "Big John". He graduated in 1950 and earned a master's degree from the University of Kentucky in 1952.

He coached Jackson State University from 1953 to 1962, where he compiled a record of 63–37–5. Merritt led Jackson State to back-to-back appearances in the Orange Blossom Classic in 1961 and 1962 before being hired by what was then Tennessee A&I.

At Tennessee State (as Tennessee A&I was renamed in 1968), Merritt had four undefeated seasons, claimed four Midwest Athletic Association titles, seven black college football national championships: (1965, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1979 and 1982) and earned the school's first-ever NCAA Division I-AA playoff victory in 1982.

Merritt coached many players who went into the National Football League, among them were Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Joe Gilliam, Claude Humphrey, Mike Hegman, and Richard Dent.

His coaching record at Tennessee State was 172–33–7, and had an .828 winning percentage—far and away the best in school history.

John Merritt Boulevard in Nashville, Tennessee is named in his honor, and the Tennessee State football team opens every season with the John Merritt Classic game against Alabama A&M University, until recently the Classic headlines other HBCU teams, in particular 2015—Tennessee State will play host to Alabama State University on September 6, 2015.

Larry Cole

Larry Rudolph Cole (born November 15, 1946) is a former American football defensive lineman in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He played in five Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl VI and XII. He played college football at the University of Hawaii and the Air Force Academy.

Mike Hegman

Michael William Hegman (born January 17, 1953) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Tennessee State University.

Randy White (American football)

Randall Lee White (born January 15, 1953) is a former American football defensive tackle. He attended the University of Maryland from 1971 to 1974, and played professionally for the Dallas Cowboys from 1975 to 1988. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame (1994), the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1994) and the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.

Tennessee State Tigers football

The Tennessee State Tigers are the college football team representing the Tennessee State University. The Tigers play in NCAA Division I Football Championship as a member of the Ohio Valley Conference.

The Double McGuffin

The Double McGuffin is a 1979 American mystery film written and directed by Joe Camp. The film starred Ernest Borgnine and George Kennedy, alongside a group of young actors, some of whom later became well-known names in the U.S., including Lisa Whelchel, who would go on to star in the sitcom The Facts of Life.

Elke Sommer and NFL stars Ed 'Too Tall' Jones and Lyle Alzado also appear in smaller roles. The film also included a young Vincent Spano as well as Dion Pride (son of country singer Charley Pride). An opening narration is provided by Orson Welles. The cast included Chicago native Michael Gerard, and Dallas area child actors Greg Hodges and Jeff Nicholson.

The Thrill Hunter

The Thrill Hunter is a 1933 American Pre-Code comedy film directed by George B. Seitz. Buck Jones stars as a habitual teller of tall tales, while Dorothy Revier plays the film star he tries to impress.

Tony Tolbert

Anthony Lewis Tolbert (born December 29, 1967) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at the University of Texas-El Paso. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 1989 NFL Draft.

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