100 Moments: "Too Tall" Makes HBCU History
Thursday, August 23, 2012
100 Moments:

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by recognizing one of the premier football players in Tennessee State history.

In 1970 Ed “Too Tall” Jones arrived on the TSU campus on a basketball scholarship. However, after Jones spent a couple of seasons playing on the team, legendary head football coach John Merritt convinced Jones to give up basketball to focus on football.

The move worked for Jones as he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the first overall pick in the 1974 draft. He also had staying power- setting the Cowboys record for games played with the franchise.

Tennessee State was not prepared for a football player of Jones’ size to suit up for the team, so Jones was given a uniform that didn’t quite fit. Much to the delight of his teammates, Jones ended up looking like a child who had outgrown his clothes. His appearance led teammates to call him “Too Tall” because he looked too tall to play football.

Jones left TSU as the school’s second leading sacker, having amassed 38 for his career. His collegiate performance got the attention of NFL teams from around the country, and the Cowboys did not hesitate to make Jones the highest player ever drafted from a HBCU.

Jones’s talents carried over into his professional career- he was named All-Pro three times and helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl XII.

During his career, Jones tallied 106 sacks and 19 fumble recoveries.

Watch Jones and the Cowboy’s “Doomsday Defense” below:


The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.

Sports Information Assistant Alex Mitchell contributed to this article.

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