5 Fun Facts About New Defensive End Kony Ealy
The Cowboys have agreed to terms with defensive end Kony Ealy who is in elite company when it comes to a Super Bowl pass-rushing record. He’s also the first player in Super Bowl history to accomplish an impressive feat.
Here are 5 Things to Know About Ealy:
Ealy Is Tied for Most Sacks in a Super Bowl, Is the First Player in Super Bowl History with Multiple Sacks and an Interception
In Super Bowl 50 as a member of the Carolina Panthers, Ealy sacked Peyton Manning three times and picked him off once. Ealy became the first player in Super Bowl history to record multiple sacks and an interception in a single game. And his 3 sacks tie him with Hall of Famer Reggie White (Green Bay, Super Bowl XXXI) and Darnell Dockett (Cardinals, Super Bowl XLIII) for the most sacks in a single Super Bowl game.
What’s more impressive, Ealy wreaked all that havoc in Super Bowl 50 in only 23 snaps. As a backup to Charles Johnson and Jared Allen, Ealy played only 38% of the defensive snaps in the game. Ealy’s Herculean efforts, however, weren’t enough to win a Super Bowl ring; led by Manning, Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, the Broncos beat the Panthers 24-10.
Ealy Nearly Topped Hall of Famer Charles Haley’s Super Bowl Record
Ealy’s three sacks is 1 ½ behind the all-time Super Bowl record for career sacks which is held by former Cowboy defensive end Charles Haley, a Hall of Famer and member of the Ring of Honor. Haley’s record is 4 ½, but it took him five games to reach that amount. Haley won five Super Bowl rings, two with the 49ers and three with the Cowboys. Ealy has three sacks, all in one Super Bowl appearance.
Following the Death of His Sister, Ealy Earned a Game Ball from NY Jets for Inspired Performance
Last October, Ealy earned a game ball from the NY Jets for an inspired performance in a win over the Jaguars. Ealy was playing with a heavy heart following the death of his sister, Sierra, who was born with a rare chromosome disorder. Ealy missed two practices earlier in the week to be with family and was given the option to sit-out the Jets-Jaguars game. Jets head coach Todd Bowles and teammates kept Ealy’s ‘personal matter’ private.
But instead of sitting out the game, Ealy used his grief to fuel his performance in the Jets’ win in which Ealy recorded his second career interception and defended four passes.
Thanks to His Sister, Ealy Can Communicate in Sign Language
The youngest of 11 children, Ealy told PlayerEngagement.com’s Lisa Zimmerman that he learned sharing and compassion at an early age because of sister, Sierra, who was born with disabilities and communicated in sign language. Ealy said his sign language proficiency continued to improve, thanks to his sister.
During his three seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Ealy worked with the Charlotte-based Allegro Foundation and became the official spokesperson because the foundation champions children with disabilities.
USA Today Sports
The Cowboys Are Ealy’s Fourth NFL Team
Ealy began his career as the Panthers’ 2ndround pick in 2014, the 60thoverall selection. The Cowboys were interested in drafting Ealy, but instead moved up earlier in the 2ndround to select DeMarcus Lawrence with the 34thoverall pick.
Ealy played three seasons with the Panthers. He was traded to the New England Patriots in March, 2017 but was waived five months later at the end of preseason. The Cowboys tried to claim his off waivers, but he was awarded to the New York Jets. Because the Jets had a worse record than the Cowboys the previous season, the Jets had a higher waiver claim and were awarded Ealy.
Ealy played 15 games for the Jets last season. He posted one sack and recorded a career-high nine pass deflections. Through his first four NFL seasons, Ealy has 15 career sacks. He starred in college at University of Missouri.
By signing a one-year deal with the Cowboys, he will join a defensive end rotation which already features pass rushers DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, and Taco Charlton.