There is a lot of history behind Americas most storied sports franchise. I decided to start a series on the top 5 Cowboys of all time by position. The players worthy of a spot on this list can not be hired guns. They had to have been drafted by the Cowboys or signed as undrafted free agents, and they have to be worthy of a spot in the Cowboys ring of honor.
Too many times fans get so caught up with the media buzz and current events that they lose site of exactly why the Dallas Cowboys are known as Americas Team. Many of the younger fans never got to be a part of the longest dynasty in NFL history. Many don’t knowÂ some of the greats who played a major role in making Americas Team what it is today. This series on the top 5 Cowboys of all time is not only to educate the younger fans on the history of our great franchise, but my way of paying tribute to the great players who left their blood, sweat and tears on the gridiron.
This listÂ will not beÂ in any significant order. Every man on it will have played his own role. There is no way to put a number in front of any of these names. They were all among the best of the best. The elite if you will. They were all about “Team”. It wasn’t about personal accolades or big paychecks like the modern NFL. Every man on it, gave everything he hadÂ for the Star. That in itself makes them all #1 in my book. My first selection is:
Height|Weight: 6-9Â Â 271
Position: Defensive End
College: Tennessee State
Draft: Round 1 Pick 1
Pro Career: 1974-1989
In 1974, for the first time inÂ franchise history, the Dallas Cowboys had the first overall draft pick. TheÂ #1 pickÂ was acquired from the Houston Oilers inÂ aÂ tradeÂ for Tody Smith and Billy Parks. The Cowboys ended up drafting Ed Jones, making him the first football player from a Historically Black College to go that high in the draft.
“Too Tall” Jones earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors three times from 1981 to 1983. He retired at the end of the 1989 season. He had Â never missed a game. Ed Jones playedÂ the most games by any Cowboys player in franchise historyÂ (232) andÂ is tied with Mark Tuinei and Bill Bates for the most seasons playedÂ (15).
Ed “Too Tall” Jones was one of the most dominant and disruptive defensive players of his era. He playedÂ in 16 playoff games and three Super Bowls. He was part of three NFC championship teams and the Super Bowl XII championship team. As a member of “The Dooms Day Defense” his success batting down passes convinced the NFL to record it as an official stat.Unfortunately, I was unable to find out exactly how many he actually batted down. However, I was 7 when the Cowboys drafted Jones and I can remember a lot of them between 74 and 89.
The NFL didn’t startÂ counting sacks as an official stat until 1982;Â but the Cowboys have their own records, dating back before the 1982 season. According to the Cowboys’ stats, despite the fact he played in a two gap system and his first priority was to stop the run, Jones is unofficially credited with a total of 106 sacks (third most in team history) and officially with 57. He is the fifth leading tackler in franchise history with 1,032.
It is a rare thing for a LDE, or any defensive lineman for that matter, Â to amass that many tackles. Ed Jones was not only a class act both on and off the field, he played an integral part in the 20 year dynasty. Taking in to account his character, impact on the field and durability, Ed Jones is a top five Cowboy of all time at his position. Ed Jones will always be one of my childhood heroes.