Chris Jones celebrates his 27th birthday today. To help him celebrate, we’ve collected 27 facts that we think all Cowboys fans should know about this punter.
- Jones was born on July 21, 1989.
- He was the long snapper during his pee wee football days (only because no one else knew how) and transitioned into punting during middle school.
- He went to Coosa High School in Rome, Georgia where he was an All-Area punter.
- Jones was also a track and field athlete.
- He accepted a scholarship from Carson-Newman College where he was a four-year starter.
- His freshman year, Jones was named to the first-team All-SAC selection.
- He also led the conference with a punting average of 41.4 yards.
- His sophomore year, he was a Preseason All-SAC selection and a second-team All-SAC selection.
- Again during his junior year, Jones earned second-team All-SAC honors.
- In 2010, his senior year, he earned his final spot on the first-team All-SAC list.
- Also that year, he led the conference again with a punting average of 42.1 yards per punt.
- Jones also recorded a punting long of 73 yards in the season opener.
- According to the school’s website, since 1937, over 75 Eagles have gone on to play professional football – including 6 who are still active in the NFL, Arena League, World League of American Football or Canadian League.
- Jones majored in physical education.
- Left or right? Jones punts with his left foot. He writes with his left hand. And he shoots a gun with his left hand (he’s an avid hunter). However, he golfs with his right hand; he throws with his right hand; and he shoots a bow and arrow with his right hand. #skills
- He originally joined the team in 2011 as an undrafted free agent at training camp. By the end of the summer though, he was released.
- A couple months later, he was signed to the practice squad and then made his NFL debut against Seattle in November of 2011 due to an injury to veteran Mat McBriar.
- Throughout the rest of the season, Jones filled in for McBriar whenever needed and had a gross average of 42.6 yards per punt (he logged 10 punts total) with four of them downed inside the 20.
- His performance the year before led him to win the starting job in 2012.
- After winning the starting position, Jones suffered through a partially torn ACL in October of 2012 and spent the rest of the season on IR which some thought put his job back in jeopardy.
- They were wrong though! Jones came back with a vengeance and ended the 2013 season with 21 punts inside the 20.
- Also, during a preseason game that year, he became the second player (and first Dallas Cowboys player) to hit the jumbotron inside AT&T Stadium.
- In 2015, Jones became the first punter in franchise history to recover a fumble during the return of one of his own punts.
- He’s punted 225 times in his professional career for a total of 10,138 yards!
- Jones also agreed to an extension with the team and now has a contract through 2017.
- His favorite Dallas Cowboys player of all time? Roger Staubach! (We’d bet he’s not the only one…)
- Finally, the last thing to know about Chris Jones – he likes flying under the celebrity status radar. With that being the case, we’re not sure how we’re going to come up with 28 new facts next year!
Happy Birthday Chris!
Photo Credit: CNEagles.com