There are officially 72 days until the toe meets the ball at AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys will host the New York Giants on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Hello, Friday! This beauty of a day has been on all of our minds since we fell into the weekly trap that is Monday. It feels good to know that the weekend is ahead, we can push our work back a couple (or a hundred) days, and that there is some new Cowboys scoop to talk about. Today we’re going to discuss the Greatest 72 in Dallas Cowboys History.
The following players have all worn #72 for the Dallas Cowboys:
- Stephen Bowen, DE
- Rob Callaway, DT
- Louis Cheek, OT
- Ray Childress, DT
- Travis Frederick*, C
- Bill Herchman, DT
- Ed “Too Tall” Jones, DE
- Tony Liscio, OT
- Dwayne Missouri, DE
- Stephen Peterman, OG
- Don Talbert, OT
*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster
Current Cowboys fans are all about Travis Frederick. Taken with the 31st pick of the 2013 NFL Draft the former Wisconsin Badger has already lived up to his first-round hype.
As the center, Travis anchors what is arguably the greatest offensive line in today’s NFL and he’s regarded as a highly intelligent (the dude has a degree in computer engineering for crying out loud) master of the game.
Beyond snapping the ball to quarterback Tony Romo, Travis is responsible for making various reads and communicating information to the rest of the line. He’s well on his way to making a significant mark in Dallas Cowboys History, but he’s nowhere near the level of prestige as our greatest 72.
Tennessee State University thought they hit the jackpot with 6’9” Ed Jones. Two seasons in, Ed decided that football was a far more enticing option than basketball and during his first practice had a teammate notice that his pants didn’t fit like everyone else’s. Those pants led a teammate to conclude that Ed was “too tall to play football,” but as soon as he rushed the passer everybody relaxed.
Ed “Too Tall” Jones turned heads as he became a two-time All-American. Too Tall was the crown jewel when the 1974 NFL Draft took place and the holders of the number one overall pick – the Dallas Cowboys – needed someone with some serious height. Dallas took Jones as their first #1 overall pick in franchise history and a star was born.
Too Tall became a starter at left defensive end in 1975, helping the Cowboys reach Super Bowl X where they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Cowboys would return to two Too Tall (say that five times fast) Super Bowls in the 1970s: Super Bowl XII against the Denver Broncos (a victory) and Super Bowl XIII, a rematch of X against the Steelers. Ed helped anchor Dallas’ legendary Doomsday Defense, guided by Tom Landry, and had a very prominent stint during those first few years in the 70s.
After a brief stint in professional boxing, Too Tall returned to the Cowboys in 1980 and outperformed his 70s self.
He went to three straight Pro Bowls from 1981 to 1983 and was a First-Team All-Pro in 1982 (coincidentally the first year that the NFL began tallying sacks as an official statistic). The Dallas Cowboys were a part of many historical games from 1974-1989 and they were all, in large part, thanks to Mr. Jones. Don’t believe me? Check out Tom Landry’s personal letter to Too Tall congratulating him on an illustrious career as a Dallas Cowboy.
Too Tall Jones was a number one overall pick that became a legendary pass rusher in an era full of them. He has 106 quarterback sacks, unofficially … putting Jones third in franchise history. His 224 games played in the blue and white are the most ALL-TIME in Dallas Cowboys Franchise History. Too Tall is a Cowboys legend, a defensive force, and the Greatest 72 in Dallas Cowboys History.
Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 71 in Dallas Cowboys History is, and go follow Too Tall on Twitter at @1EdTooTallJones (I promise, that is the real Ed Too Tall Jones).