American Football Database
Jerry Ball
No. 93, 96     
Defensive Tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1964-12-15) December 15, 1964 (age 57)
Place of birth: Beaumont, Texas
Career information
College: Southern Methodist
NFL Draft: 1987 / Round: 3 / Pick: 63
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Detroit Lions (19871992)
Career highlights and awards
* 3× Pro Bowl (19891991)
Sacks     32.5
Games     191
Interceptions     1
Stats at

Jerry Ball Jr. (born December 15, 1964) is a former professional American football defensive lineman in the NFL who played primarily as a nose tackle. He played professionally for the Detroit Lions, the Cleveland Browns, the Los Angeles Raiders, the Oakland Raiders, and the Minnesota Vikings.


Ball was born in Beaumont, Texas, and attended Hebert High School, then after integration graduated from West Brook High School, where he played fullback and rushed for 1,000 yards and LB for 1982 5A State Championship All State honors. He was All District in three positions and was selected to play in the Texas high school all star game.

He played college football at Southern Methodist University in University Park, Texas. He was a four-year letter-winner and ranks 4th on the all-time sack list at SMU. All-American, All Southwest Conference 84-86. He was a two-time Outland and Lombardi award finalist, and a Christian-Terrell 3-time winner.

Professional career

Ball was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 3rd round (63rd overall) of the 1987 NFL Draft.[1] During his career he went to three Pro Bowls with the Detroit Lions.[2]

Ball played in the NFL for 13 seasons.[3] He recorded 32.5 sacks during his career, most of them coming as a nose tackle with the Detroit Lions. Despite this fact, Ball spent his entire career being double teamed and often triple teamed by opposing teams. Ball's dominance was such a force that teams would realign their best players to help centers deal with the pressure Ball kept on the middle of the offense. Known mostly as a run stuffer later in his career, he has been considered one of the best nose tackles of this era. Anchoring the Minnesota Viking defense alongside John Randle, also a Pro Bowl defensive tackle, Ball re-emerged as a leader and dominant force on the Vikings 15-1 record setting team.

Personal life

Ball is a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity at Southern Methodist University. He has three daughters; Faren, Lindsey, and Haley.


External links