This is the first of two posts with Ed “Too Tall” Jones. The full 12-minute interview will come later on Monday, so stay tuned to The Landry Hat! This is information that mostly was discussed over lunch and did not get recorded. Enjoy.
Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Ed “Too Tall” Jones knows a leader when he sees one.
And he’s seen his fair share of them.
He has played the game with Harvey Martin, Drew Pearson, Calvin Hill, Lee Roy Jordan, and of course he was coached by the legendary Tom Landry–all men who played key roles in the success of America’s Team. They were leaders.
But the Dallas Cowboys of today are lacking that “vocal leader,” Too Tall said today during an exclusive interview with The Landry Hat. Tony Romo and Terrell Owens are players who lead by their talents on the field, he said. But neither is vocal enough to help turn the team into a dynasty.
There is one guy who he thinks may step up this year to become that vocal leader: Zach Thomas.
"“The coaches can’t do it all,” he said."
Thomas, acquired this off season, is nearing the end of a special career. The linebacker may lack size, but he makes up for it with his hard hits and speed.
Still a Cowboys fan, Too Tall said he was disappointed with the playoff loss to the New York Giants last season. During the two eras he played for the Cowboys, he said players were less likely to take vacations the week before a big playoff game, even if the coaches said to do it.
Too Tall is a three-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl champion with 106 career sacks in 224 games.
Only two other players in Cowboys history have played in the blue and silver as long as Jones’ 15-year career. His 106 total sacks would tie him for 17th all-time in the NFL, but he played more than half his career before the NFL recorded the stat.
Yet, with all of those accolades, he still is not a member of the Dallas Cowboys’ Ring of Honor, and his name has yet to be mentioned as a Hall of Fame candidate. Sixteen former Cowboys are in the Ring of Honor. But the tallest one is not.
The defensive end, who may be best known for regularly knocking down passes because of his huge 6-foot 10-inch frame, says he is fine without the recognition.
"“When I look at the Hall of Fame, and when I look at the Ring of Honor, and I look at the guys who played before me that are not in there, that I feel deserve to be in there, then it is not upsetting to me at all,” Jones said during lunch yesterday. “I am not the lone soldier out here. There are several guys that I feel that meant a lot to the Dallas Cowboys before Ed Jones played for Dallas, and I feel there are some guys that meant a great deal to that legacy while I played that are not in there.”"
Too Tall said he would rather see offensive guards Blaine Nye (1968-1976) and John Niland (1966-1975) get Ring of Honor recognition.
"“These guys were the ones opening the holes,” he said. “These guys meant a lot to Dallas’ success, and that’s what I think it should be about.”"
Too Tall said the two toughest guys he ever played against were Rams offensive lineman Jackie Slater and St. Louis Cardinals offensive lineman Dan Dierdorf.
"“I was always up for the challenge,” he said."
Too Tall recalled some memorable moments as a Cowboys player and a fan. Bill Bates, a Cowboy who spent 15 years in blue and silver like Too Tall did, is another player he thinks deserves recognition. He said Bates was one of the slowest defensive backs, but he always was the first one down the field on special teams, where Bates shined. Too Tall remembers when Bates hit Tony Hill during one practice.
"“Hill got up and started cursing, ‘Do you know who I am?’ and then Bates went and did it again,” he said. “He’s another player who meant a lot to Dallas for a long time.”"
Too Tall is in Fredericksburg, Va, for a card signing today from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Card Cellar in the 4-Mile Fork Shopping Center, 5047 Jeff Davis Highway. The cost is $35 for the event, including a signed item.