American Football Database
Tony Tolbert
No. 92     
Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1967-12-29) December 29, 1967 (age 54)
Place of birth: Tuskegee, Alabama
Career information
College: Texas-El Paso
NFL Draft: 1989 / Round: 4 / Pick: 85
Debuted in 1989 for the [[{{{debutteam}}}]]
Last played in 1997 for the [[{{{finalteam}}}]]
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Sacks     59
Interceptions     1
Games played     144
Stats at

Anthony Lewis Tolbert (born December 29, 1967 in Tuskegee, Alabama) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League. He was raised in Englewood, New Jersey, and graduated from Dwight Morrow High School.[1] Tolbert was drafted in 4th round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Tolbert made the Pro Bowl in 1996 after recording 12 quarterback sacks.

Early days

Born 29 December 1967, in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Tolbert grew up in Englewood N.J. and graduated from Dwight Morrow High School.

He received a scholarship to play at the University of Texas-El Paso.

Tolbert was light for a defensive end (6 feet 2 inches and 175 pounds as a freshman), but developed into a very good pass rusher at the college level.

At UTEP, his best year was his senior season, when he tied a school record with 11 sacks, made over 100 tackles and earned All-WAC honors.

UTEP's 1988 team is the winningest footbal team in school history with 10 wins. It also clinched an Independence Bowl bid, where they lost 38-18 to Southern Mississippi University.

He graduated in 1991 with a degree in criminal justice.

On September 27, 2008, He was honored for his achievements with the 1988 UTEP Miners, during a footbal home game against the University of Central Florida.

Professional career

He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 1989 NFL Draft out of the University of Texas-El Paso.

He was a low draft selection, because coming out of college he was what they called a tweener (Not fast enough to play linebacker and too light to be a defensive end). He ended up, not just having a long career, but also excelling.

He broke into the starting lineup at left defensive end in 1990, and remained there for all nine of his seasons with the Cowboys.

As defensive end for the Cowboys from 1989-1997, Tolbert played an important role in the Cowboys' rise to prominence in the 90's and their three Super Bowl victories.

Tolbert became one of the stalwarts, on one of the best defenses of the 90's. During that time, he teamed up with Charles Haley to become one of the top pass-rushing duos in the NFL.

Although he came into the league as a pass rush specialist, he developed into a rugged run stopper, making him the leading tackler among Cowboy defensive linemen for seven straight years.

Tolbert played with chronic knee pain through the final years of his career, because of a degenerative knee condition.

He was a Pro Bowler in 1996, when he had a career high of 12 sacks and 85 tackles.

Despite playing in pain, Tolbert started all 16 games in 1997, compiled five sacks and led all Cowboys defensive linemen in tackles for the seventh consecutive season, with 60. Tolbert's five sacks were the most on the team that year.

He was released after the 1997 season because of his declining performance while playing on aching knees. This happened only a year after he was selected to his first Pro Bowl team.

During his career, he recorded 59 quarterback sacks in 128 games played over the course of 9 seasons, plus he returned his only interception 54 yards for a touchdown.

He had more sacks during the 90s than any other Cowboy player.

Ten years after he retired, he had knee-replacement surgery on both knees. The result of seven knee surgeries during his nine-year career.


  1. "TOLBERT WINS FIRST TRIP TO HONOLULU", The Record (Bergen County), December 13, 1996. Accessed July 4, 2008.