Title: How Tall Was “Too Tall” Jones: A Towering Legend in Sports
In the realm of professional sports, certain athletes leave an indelible mark on the collective memory of fans. One such larger-than-life figure is Ed “Too Tall” Jones, a towering defensive end who became an iconic presence in American football. Standing at a remarkable height, Jones not only earned his nickname but also etched his name in the annals of sports history. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating life and career of “Too Tall” Jones, exploring interesting facts, tricks, and answering common questions surrounding this extraordinary athlete’s legacy.
1. Early Life and Rise to Stardom:
Born on February 23, 1951, in Jackson, Tennessee, Ed “Too Tall” Jones grew up with an exceptional height advantage. Standing at 6 feet 9 inches (206 cm), he towered over his peers from an early age. Jones excelled in multiple sports during high school, showcasing his athletic prowess in basketball, track and field, and football. His impressive performance on the field attracted the attention of college recruiters, eventually leading him to play football at Tennessee State University.
2. The Dallas Cowboys Era:
In 1974, the Dallas Cowboys selected Jones as their first overall pick in the NFL Draft. This marked the beginning of a remarkable 15-year career with the Cowboys, where he would become a household name. Jones quickly established himself as a dominant force on the field, possessing a rare combination of speed, agility, and raw power. His imposing stature and unparalleled athleticism made him a key element in the Cowboys’ legendary “Doomsday Defense.”
3. Interesting Facts about “Too Tall” Jones:
a. Jones’ nickname, “Too Tall,” was given to him by a shoe salesman who found it impossible to fit his size 14 feet into any normal-sized shoes.
b. During the 1979 NFL season, Jones decided to put his football career on hold to pursue a professional boxing career, going undefeated in six fights.
c. “Too Tall” Jones retired from football in 1979 but returned to the Dallas Cowboys in 1980 after reconsidering his decision.
d. He played in three Super Bowls, winning one in 1977.
e. Jones remains one of the most recognizable figures in Dallas Cowboys history and was inducted into the Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1989.
4. Tricks of the Trade:
a. Utilizing his exceptional reach and wingspan, Jones perfected the art of swatting down passes at the line of scrimmage, disrupting opposing quarterbacks’ timing.
b. His speed and agility allowed him to effortlessly maneuver past offensive linemen, often surprising quarterbacks with his rapid closing speed.
c. Jones developed a variety of pass-rushing moves, including the bull rush, spin move, and rip move, making it challenging for offensive linemen to consistently block him effectively.
d. With his towering presence, Jones was a nightmare for opposing offenses in goal-line situations, effectively shutting down running lanes and forcing quarterbacks to make rushed decisions.
5. Common Questions and Answers:
Q1: What is Ed “Too Tall” Jones’ real height?
A1: Ed Jones stands at an astounding 6 feet 9 inches (206 cm) tall.
Q2: Was Jones the tallest player in NFL history?
A2: At his height of 6 feet 9 inches, Jones is indeed among the tallest players in NFL history. However, Richard Sligh, a player from the 1960s, holds the distinction of being the tallest at 7 feet tall.
Q3: Did Jones ever win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award?
A3: Despite his dominance on the field, “Too Tall” Jones never won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. However, he was a three-time Pro Bowler and had numerous All-Pro selections.
Q4: What led Jones to take a break from football to pursue boxing?
A4: Jones’ decision to pursue boxing was influenced by a desire for a new challenge and a need for a change of pace from football. He wanted to test his skills in a different sport and explore his potential in the boxing ring.
Q5: How did Jones fare in his boxing career?
A5: Jones had a successful boxing career, going undefeated in six fights. However, he ultimately decided to return to football after a year away.
Q6: What were Jones’ contributions to the Dallas Cowboys’ success?
A6: Jones played a pivotal role in the Cowboys’ success, helping the team reach three Super Bowls and winning one in 1977. His disruptive presence on the defensive line was instrumental in the Cowboys’ “Doomsday Defense” becoming one of the best in NFL history.
Q7: Did Jones face any major injuries during his career?
A7: Despite his physical style of play, Jones managed to avoid any major injuries throughout his career, a testament to his durability and athleticism.
Q8: What impact did Jones have on the defensive end position?
A8: Jones revolutionized the defensive end position with his rare combination of size, speed, and agility. He showcased that a player with tremendous height could excel on the edge, influencing future generations of defensive players.
Q9: How did Jones’ retirement affect the Dallas Cowboys?
A9: Jones’ retirement in 1979 left a significant void in the Cowboys’ defense. However, his return in 1980 provided a much-needed boost, as he continued to dominate opposing offenses until his eventual retirement in 1989.
Q10: How did Jones transition from football to his post-playing career?
A10: Following his retirement, Jones ventured into various business endeavors, including starting a successful construction company. He also pursued acting and appeared in several television shows and movies.
Q11: What is Jones’ legacy in the NFL and beyond?
A11: Jones’ legacy extends beyond his remarkable playing career. He remains an iconic figure in the Dallas Cowboys franchise, embodying the spirit of dominance and perseverance. His impact on the game, both on and off the field, is a testament to his enduring legacy.
Q12: Did Jones inspire other athletes with his unique physical attributes?
A12: Undoubtedly, Jones’ towering presence and athletic prowess inspired numerous athletes, proving that exceptional height could be an advantage in sports rather than a hindrance.
Q13: How did Jones’ nickname become so well-known?
A13: The nickname “Too Tall” was given to Jones by a shoe salesman who struggled to find shoes that would fit his larger-than-life feet. The name stuck, becoming synonymous with his towering presence.
Q14: Are there any records held by Jones in the NFL?
A14: While Jones does not hold any significant NFL records, his impact on the game and on the Dallas Cowboys franchise cannot be overstated.
Q15: How did Jones’ height affect his personal life?
A15: Jones’ height undoubtedly made him stand out in a crowd, but it also brought challenges in finding clothes and shoes that fit properly. However, his larger-than-life presence also afforded him unique opportunities and experiences.
Ed “Too Tall” Jones’ towering presence, remarkable athleticism, and indomitable spirit solidified his place as a legend in the world of American football. From his early days as a multi-sport athlete to his dominant years with the Dallas Cowboys, Jones’ impact transcends the game itself. His fascinating life journey, coupled with his exceptional talents, serve as a source of inspiration for athletes and fans alike. As the NFL continues to evolve, the legacy of “Too Tall” Jones will forever remain etched in the hearts and minds of football enthusiasts, reminding us that greatness knows no height limitations.