American Football Database
Robert Jones
Date of birth: (1969-09-27) September 27, 1969 (age 52)
Place of birth: Blackstone, Virginia
Career information
Position(s): Linebacker
College: East Carolina
NFL Draft: 1992 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24
 As player:
Dallas Cowboys
St. Louis Rams
Miami Dolphins
Washington Redskins
Playing stats at

Robert Lee Jones (born September 27, 1969 in Blackstone, Virginia) is a former American football linebacker who played 10 seasons in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, the St. Louis Rams, the Miami Dolphins, and the Washington Redskins from 1992 to 2001.

Jones played college football at East Carolina University and was drafted in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Cowboys. He was the NFC Rookie of the Year in 1992. He won three Super Bowls with the Cowboys.

Early life

After attending Nottoway County High School, in order to meet academic requirements for College, Jones attended Fork Union Military Academy post-graduate program for one year, before accepting a scholarship to East Carolina University.

Jones would become the most accomplished linebacker in the history of East Carolina University. He received freshman All-America honors and also earned All-America honorable mention as a sophomore. As a senior in 1991, he was a consensus All-America choice and one of the finalists for the Butkus award. Jones was a co-captain of the 1991 team that finished ranked No. 9 nationally with an 11–1 record and a Peach Bowl victory.

In 2004, he was inducted into the East Carolina University Hall of Fame.

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

Jones was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft, becoming the first player from East Carolina University to be drafted that high.

The team moved Ken Norton Jr. to outside linebacker, alllowing him to become the second rookie (Eugene Lockhart) in Cowboys history to start at middle linebacker, and the second rookie (Lee Roy Jordan) linebacker in franchise history to start in a season-opener. He helped the Cowboys establish the top defense in the league in 1992, was named NFC rookie of the year and was selected to the NFL all-rookie team.

In 1993 he only started three games after being benched in favor of Ken Norton Jr., who took over his middle linebacker duties. In 1994, he would come back to have the best year of his career, going on to be selected to the Pro Bowl, after registering 162 tackles (then the fourth-highest single season total in Cowboys history) and 4 passes defensed while starting all 16 games at middle linebacker.

During his four seasons with the Cowboys, Jones helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl XXVII, Super Bowl XXVIII and Super Bowl XXX.

In the 90's, the Cowboys organization felt they could find linebackers through the draft, without the need of paying a premium and adversely impacting the salary cap, so they allowed talented and productive players like Ken Norton Jr., Darrin Smith, Dixon Edwards and Randall Godfrey, to leave via free agency, instead of signing them into long-term contracts. In 1996 after he became a free agent, the Cowboys replaced him by signing free agent Fred Strickland.

Saint Louis Rams

Jones signed as a free agent with the Saint Louis Rams in 1996, where he played 2 undistinguished seasons before being released for salary cap reasons.

Miami Dolphins

In 1998, he signed a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins, reuniting him with Jimmy Johnson. That season Jones became an integral part of a defense that allowed an NFL low 265 points. He started all 16 regular season games at strongside linebacker and finished third on the team with 100 total tackles. He also put together career-high numbers of five sacks, two interceptions and five passes defensed. He returned one of those interceptions for the first touchdown of his career. After the season, the Dolphins rewarded him with a five-year contract extension.

In 2001, he was released by the Dolphins after not restructuring his contract.

Washington Redskins

Jones signed a one-year deal with the Washington Redskins in 2001, starting 9 of 15 games during the season.

Houston Texans

In 2002, he signed as a free agent with the Houston Texans, but upon his request was released before the season started.

Green Bay Packers

One week later he signed with the Green Bay Packers, but was released shortly after to make room for signed free agent Hardy Nickerson.

Over his 10 year career, he played in 151 total games and registered 974 tackles, 8 quarterback sacks and 3 interceptions.

Personal life

Jones is the brother-in-law of Jeff Blake who also played at East Carolina University and in the NFL.

Robert's son Cayleb Jones was a top college football recruit at wide receiver out of Austin High School in Austin, TX., who signed to play for the University of Texas. He will transfer to the University of Arizona and be eligible to play in 2014.

Robert's second son Isaiah is a freshman wide receiver at East Carolina University.

External links