Lee Roy Jordan

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Lee Roy Jordan
No. 54, 55
Linebacker
Center
Personal information
Date of birth: (1941-04-27) April 27, 1941 (age 72)
Place of birth: Excel, Alabama
Career information
High school: Excel (AL)
College: Alabama
NFL Draft: 1963 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Debuted in 1963 for the Dallas Cowboys
Last played in 1976 for the Dallas Cowboys
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions36
Touchdowns3
Games186
Stats at NFL.com
College Football Hall of Fame
 
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Lee Roy Jordan
No. 54, 55
Linebacker
Center
Personal information
Date of birth: (1941-04-27) April 27, 1941 (age 72)
Place of birth: Excel, Alabama
Career information
High school: Excel (AL)
College: Alabama
NFL Draft: 1963 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Debuted in 1963 for the Dallas Cowboys
Last played in 1976 for the Dallas Cowboys
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions36
Touchdowns3
Games186
Stats at NFL.com
College Football Hall of Fame

Lee Roy Jordan (born April 27, 1941) is a retired American football linebacker. After attending the University of Alabama, playing under head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, he spent 14 years in the National Football League playing for the Dallas Cowboys between 1963–1976. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

Early years[edit]

Jordan attended Excel High School in Excel, Alabama, where he was a standout at fullback. Between 1960–1962, Jordan excelled for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team under head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. He played as both a linebacker and center for the team. In his sophomore season of 1960, he helped the Crimson Tide finish with an 8–1-2 record. In the Bluebonnet Bowl, versus the Texas Longhorns, he was named the game's MVP in a 3–3 tie.[1]

The following year, Jordan was again an important part of the team as Alabama finished with an 11–0 record, a SEC Championship, and a national championship. The season included six shutouts, which included a 34–0 win over rival Auburn. Alabama wrapped up the season with a 10–3 victory over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.

In his senior season, the Crimson Tide fell short of another national championship with a 10–1 record. In his final game for the Tide, Jordan recorded 31 tackles in a 17–0 victory over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.[2] For his performance, he received his second MVP award in a bowl game. At the end of his senior year, he received unanimous All-American status and the Lineman of the Year award.[3]

During his career for Alabama, Jordan received high praise from Bryant, who stated, "He was one of the finest football players the world has ever seen. If runners stayed between the sidelines, he tackled them. He never had a bad day, he was 100 percent every day in practice and in the games."[3]

In 1980, Jordan was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. In 1983, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Professional career[edit]

He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 1963 NFL Draft. During preseason he was named the team's weakside linebacker and became the first rookie linebacker in franchise history to start a season-opener.

In 1964 he replaced Jerry Tubbs at middle linebacker, teaming up with Chuck Howley and Dave Edwards, to form one of the greatest linebacking corps in NFL history. His teammates nicknamed him "Killer" and named him team captain for the defense.

On Sept. 26, 1971, he had a team-record 21 tackles against Philadelphia Eagles.[4] On November 4, 1973, he intercepted three passes in the first quarter from the Cincinnati Bengals' Ken Anderson within the span of five minutes, returning one 31 yards for a touchdown. The picks were collectively named one of the ten most memorable moments in the history of Texas Stadium by ESPN in 2008.[5]

Jordan was usually the smallest middle linebacker in the league at only 6'-1" and 215 pounds, but his competitiveness and drive made up for his lack of size. Head coach Tom Landry said of Jordan, "He was a great competitor. He was not big for a middle linebacker, but because of his competitiveness, he was able to play the game and play it well. His leadership was there and he demanded a lot out of the people around him as he did of himself."[6] He ran Landry's "Flex" defense on the field with unmatched intensity and efficiency. He watched game film endlessly; his contract included a projector for his home.

He became the franchise's all-time leader in solo tackles (743) in his 14 seasons with the Cowboys. He was a two-time All-Pro and a five-time Pro Bowler. He also helped the Cowboys to three Super Bowls and five NFC Championship games. Jordan was an able defender against the run and pass, and had a penchant for recovering loose footballs. He remains tied for second in club history with 16 career fumble recoveries.

More than 25 years after his retirement, Jordan still ranks second in Cowboys' history in career solo tackles with 743, second in career assisted tackles with 493 and second in combined total tackles with 1,236. He also holds the third and fourth highest totals of solo tackles in a single season with 100 in 1975 and 97 in 1968. In his 14 NFL seasons, he intercepted 32 passes (seventh in club history), returning them for 472 yards and three touchdowns.

He was selected to Cowboys Silver Season All-Time Team. In 1989, he became the seventh member of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor. He was the first member inducted by Jerry Jones.

Personal life[edit]

Jordan currently heads the Lee Roy Jordan Lumber Company, headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

He had three sons, David, Patrick, and Chris Jordan. David married and had three daughters, Bradford, Meredith, and Dabney. Patrick (who goes by the name Lee) married and had three daughters, Julia, MaryBeth, and Kathryn. Chris married and had two sons, Thomas and Bryant. He now resides in Point Clear, Alabama.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]