|This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. (December 2010)|
|Date of birth:||December 18, 1951|
|Place of birth:||Fort Worth, Texas|
|College:||Texas Tech University|
|NFL Draft:||1974 / Round: 13 / Pick 316|
|Chicago Bears (NFL)|
|Playing stats at|
Barnes was a graduate of Texas Tech University, playing from 1971 to 1973, and was inducted into the Texas Tech Athletic Hall of Honor in 1986. His senior year, he dated Dianna Delp. They were married in June 1974. Barnes was drafted by the Chicago Bears of the NFL in 1974 in the 13th round (316th overall.) He would play only 2 games for Chicago in 1974, completing 2 of 9 passes, and punting once for 27 yards.
He moved to Canada in 1976, and began a 5-year stretch with the Montreal Alouettes. He began by sharing QB duties with Sonny Wade, but mostly took over in 1978, when he threw for 1177 yards, and in 1979, when he added 2456 yards. He won a Grey Cup in 1977 and was QB for the 1978 and 1979 Cup losses to the Edmonton Eskimos. He lost his starting QB job in 1980 to Gerry Dattilio after six games, and was traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Again, he shared QB duties for the Green Riders with John Hufnagel, and after the 1981 season headed to Toronto.
It was with the Toronto Argonauts that Barnes enjoyed his greatest success in the team's run and shoot offence. At first due to injury and the excellent play of Condredge Holloway Barnes played sparingly in 1982. Starting in 1983 he was working in tandem as QB with Holloway. For two seasons the tandem combined for over 5000 yards. In 1983 Holloway had 3184 and Barnes had 2274. The next season the numbers reversed with Barnes leading with 3128 followed by Holloway with 2231. Barnes helped lead Toronto to a long awaited Grey Cup victory in 1983. As was his style, he came off the bench in the second half and engineered the game winning drive and TD, a pass to Cedric Minter, in the final minutes. He was named the Grey Cup Most Valuable Player for his heroics.
In 1984 he was named an all star. In 1985 he was traded to the Calgary Stampeders but the team struggled for wins. After 11 games he was returned to Montreal in a trade, now with the Montreal Concordes, and played with the briefly renamed and reborn Alouettes in 1986.
Barnes was known for his unpredictable and effective scrambling.
Joe and Dianna have two children, Joanna and Joey. They also have three granddaughters.