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Ed Jones

Sport: Football

Born: June 29, 1952

Town: Middletown

Ed Jones was born June 29,1952 in Long Branch and grew up in Middletown. A swift and powerful athlete, he did not play organized football until enrolling at Middletown High School (now Middletown North) in 1967, and did not develop into an impact player until his junior year. He played running back and defensive back, and was a legendary playmaker on special teams. As a junior in 1969, he helped his school achieve the #1 state ranking after defeating the favored Toms River squad 14–8. Trailing 8–0, Ed returned a kick 67 yards to the 2 yard line to set up a touchdown that made the score 8-–6. Middletown scored the go-ahead touchdown with under 5 minutes to play and Ed sealed the victory with an interception.

Ed was recruited as a tailback by Rutgers but was switched to defensive back after suffering a shoulder injury,.He became a three-year starter as a sophomore in 1972. He finished his collegiate career with 14 interceptions, establishing a new school record. He won second-team All-East honors in 1973 and first-team in 1974.

Ed was part of the fabled 1975 draft class of the Dallas Cowboys, but did not make the team that summer. The Buffalo Bills snapped him up and he made 11 starts at safety that season, earning All-Rookie honors. Ed was released by the Bills prior to the start of the 1976 campaign when he could not come to terms on a new contract. Outspoken and unafraid of controversy, Ed found it difficult to find a new home in the NFL. His hard hitting had caught the eye of CFL scouts, however, and he was signed by the Edmonton Eskimos to finish the season.

Edmonton was putting the finishing touches on a CFL dynasty, and Ed became a key part of their five straight Grey Cup titles from 1978 to 1982. He was All-CFL in 1979, 1980 and 1981. In 1980, he led the league with 10 picks, returning three for touchdowns. Ed racked up a total of 30 interceptions with the Eskimos, who traded him to the British Columbia Lions during the 1984 season. He retired after the season at the age of 32.

Ed was honored in 1990 with induction into the Rutgers Athletic Hall of Fame. He remained in Edmonton, working for the city to provide affordable housing. He also was active with Eskimo alumni. In 2015 his son, Derek, was drafted by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Derek was a football star at Simon Fraser University. He was a standout on special teams for Winnipeg, with a knack for blocking punts.


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