When Dallas Cowboys Owner and GM Jerry Jones inducted Drew Pearson, Larry Allen, and Charley Haley in to the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, it brought the total to 20 men (18 players plus Tom Landry and Tex Schramm) in the Ring. It also sparked questions about whether Charley Haley deserved to be in The Ring, and that controversy led some of us to start thinking about who should be the next to get inducted in to the Ring.
We decided to let you, the Dallas Cowboys faithful, determine which Cowboy player(s) most deserve to be in the Ring of Honor. We will continue providing profiles for the 10 finalists this week. If you want to read about the methodology we used to create the list of 10 finalists or the 3 players who received Honorable Mentions for almost making the Top 10, please click here. You can also read about the first two candidates here (Daryl Johnston) and here (Jay Novacek).
Thank you to Brad for writing the Profile of this week’s Candidate for the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor: Ed “To Tall” Jones.
As I write this, I have the luxury of knowing the identity of all 10 candidates, and while this list is not being presented in a numerical fashion I would submit the exclusion of Ed Jones from the ROH is the most egregious and glaring omission.
Ed Jones attended Tennessee State University and, not surprisingly, was recruited for the basketball team given his 6’9” frame. He decided to abandon basketball after 2 seasons in favour of football and played on 2 Black College Football National Championship teams in 1971 and 1973. The Cowboys had the first overall pick in the 1974 draft due to a trade made with the Houston Oilers prior to the 1973 season. They used the pick to draft Jones, which also represented the highest pick to come from a historically black college or university to that date.
Ed Jones entrenched himself as starting LDE during his second season, and he remained at LDE until finally being supplanted by Tony Tolbert 11 games into his final season in 1989, excepting the 1979 season in which Jones retired briefly to pursue a professional boxing career. During his tenure, Jones was an integral piece of the fabled and much revered Doomsday Defences. His first four seasons as a starter saw him play in Super Bowls following the 1975, 1977 and 1978 seasons, emerging victorious in Super Bowl XII versus the Denver Broncos thanks in no small part to the stifling pass defence exhibited by the Cowboys; they only allowed 8 completions for 35 yards while intercepting 4 passes.
Ed “Too Tall” Jones played all of his 15 NFL seasons with the Cowboys and more impressively did not miss a game during that span. He was voted to 3 consecutive Pro Bowls from 1981 to 1983, and he was an All-Pro selection during that same span. Jones was also honoured as the NFL Defensive MVP in 1982. He is officially credited with 57 sacks but unofficial stats from prior to the 1982 season (when sacks became an official NFL statistic) put his career sack total at 106. Sack totals are often the yard stick by which DEs are measured, and while Jones’ sack numbers are certainly respectable they become absolutely impressive when coupling them with the flex defence formation in which he played much of the time. Sacks are infinitely harder to obtain as a lineman starting 3 yards off the line of scrimmage.
Jones is also credited with 9 blocked kicks, 7 field goals and 2 extra points, which in itself is impressive, but it was his prolificacy batting down pass attempts that compelled the NFL to track the statistic officially, cementing Jones as a player who was able to change the game.
In addition to all of his on the field accomplishments, which are certainly numerous, Jones is a consummate Cowboy. “He remains a Cowboy through and through,” wrote Chris Stevenson in the Ottawa Sun prior to the 2002 NFL season. ‘”When asked who he thought would be in the Super Bowl this year, he replied: ‘You mean other than Dallas, who will be in it?’”
Given his tenure, statistical accomplishments, game changing stature and continued Cowboys reverence, Ed “Too Tall” Jones deserves to be in the Ring of Honor.