Jones, Ed “Too Tall”

Cards: Action Packed 1990, Photo Memorabilia
Acquired: In Person, Lenscrafters appearance 1992.

Back in the heyday of my autograph collecting I’d scour the local Austin paper for football players making appearances. Too Tall and Drew Pearson made one such appearance at a grand opening of a Lenscrafters in Barton Creek Mall back in 1992. Josh and I went there and arrived about 30 minutes early. (It’s too bad that about a 2 hour line had figured this out in front of us.) Ed was cool enough to sign both a card and the photo that the store provided to us (and really it was a duck shoot because all we had to do was wait in line to get it).  The better story was the fact that we hadn’t really been to that mall often enough and got extremely lost for another 2 hours, finally giving up and walking around the perimeter of the indoor mall to leave.

Ed “Too Tall” Jones was the first overall pick of the 1974 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He’d form the foundation of the vaunted Cowboys’ “Doomsday Defense”. At 6″ 9′ Jones’ nickname “Too Tall” was apt even at his defensive end position. Too Tall receives little credit at a sacker, as sacks were not considered an official statistic until 1982.  Jones would be named All Pro from 1981-1983, playing in 3 Superbowls and 15 seasons. He’d retire briefly in 1979 to go into boxing for about a season, but would return in 1980 after posting a 6-1 record. (It was quite a spectacle based on “Too Tall’s” size.) Ed would play for the Cowboys up through 1989, where he’d eventually retire, after Jimmy Johnson‘s first season as coach playing in 223 games. Jones’ impact on the Cowboys was immense, and he is another defensive player who was shortchanged from being in the NFL HoF, probably based on the sheer number of Dallas’ players enshrined, the tracking of sacks as an official statistic, and the overall lack of defensive talent in the hall.

Ed since retiring from football remains active as a guest speaker and firmly embraces his role as a former Cowboys player. “Too Tall” was named into the Van Heusen’s inaugural Pro Football Fan’s Hall of Fame in 2010 and also was named #26 on the Dallas Cowboys all time list.  He plays golf regularly and also has made a few TV appearances, most notably on a Geico commercial spoofing on his own nickname.

Games  223       Tac  N/a         Sac 106        Fum 19     Int 3     Yds 14    Avg 4.3   Td 0