Nate Jones (American football)
Jones in the 2011 NFL season.
No. 33, 32, 23
|Date of birth:June 15, 1982|
|Place of birth: Newark, New Jersey|
|High school: Scotch Plains-Fanwood|
|NFL Draft: 2004 / Round: 7 / Pick: 205|
|Debuted in 2004 for the Dallas Cowboys|
|Last played in 2011 for the New England Patriots|
|Roster status: Retired|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Nathan "Nate" Jones (born June 15, 1982) is a former American football cornerback. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Jones has also played for the Miami Dolphins, the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. He played college football at Rutgers.
Jones played running back and defensive back at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, where he was a first-team all-state selection as a senior, rushing for 2,474 yards and 36 touchdowns and was named the Offensive Player of the Year in Union County, he also recorded six interceptions. In a North Jersey 2 Group III quarterfinal playoff game, Jones rushed for 362 yards and six touchdowns.
Jones was a four-year letterman at Rutgers. His first collegiate interception came against Boston College as a sophomore in 2001 when he intercepted a pass and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown. He also lettered in track team as a sprinter, in 2001. He was named the Big East Conference co-Special Teams Player of the Year as a junior in 2002 when he had a pair of 100-yard kickoff returns, including one at Syracuse and another at Tennessee. Against Syracuse, he also blocked a field goal attempt that was returned 90 yards for a touchdown. Jones was sixth in the nation in 2002 with a 28.3-yard average on 26 kickoff returns, while also blocking two kicks. In addition, he recorded a career-high 84 tackles that year. He finished his career with 219 tackles, five interceptions, 18 pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He also returned 82 kickoffs for a 23.2, yard average with three touchdowns and blocked three kicks. He graduated with a degree in finance.
Nate Jones was "one of eight Division I-A members named to College Football’s 2003 National Scholar-Athlete Class by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame" 
As a rookie in 2004, Jones played in all 16 games with one start. He recorded 31 tackles and a sack. On special teams, he had a pair of tackles while also returning two kickoffs averaging 21.5-yard average. He had four tackles in games against the Cleveland Browns, the Detroit Lions, the Chicago Bears and at the Seattle Seahawks. Against the Lions, Jones recorded the first sack of his NFL career when he sacked Joey Harrington for a 10-yard loss. The first start of his professional career came against the Philadelphia Eagles when the Cowboys opened in nickel package.
In 2005, Jones played in all 16 games in as a backup. He recorded two tackles on defense and 13 on special teams, ranking second on the team. He had a season-high three special teams tackles at the Eagles. He also had two tackles at the Carolina Panthers.
In 2006, Jones appeared in four regular season games, all as a backup. He was inactive for each of the first 12 games of the season. He recorded eight tackles on defense and three more on special teams. He recorded four tackles on defense and one on special teams in the regular season finale against the Lions. He also had one kickoff return for 13 yards in the game. He appeared in the Cowboys' wildcard game in Seattle (famous for Tony Romo's botched snap on a field goal attempt) and was credited with one special teams tackle.
In 2007, Jones played in 15 regular season games as a backup, and was inactive for one game. On defense, he recorded 17 tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles. On special teams, he recorded eight tackles and six kickoff returns averaging 20.3 yards. He recorded two special teams tackles in each of the first two games; against the eventual Super Bowl XLII champion New York Giants and on the road against his future team the Miami Dolphins. He was released by the Cowboys on September 18, 2007. He was re-signed one day later after the team placed Tank Johnson on the reserved/suspended list. Jones had his best game of the season against the undefeated New England Patriots. On defense, he recorded seven tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles. He also recorded two tackles on special teams. Jones also had a two-yard sack of Tom Brady, which was the second of his career and the first since his rookie season. He also appeared in Divisional Playoff game against the Giants when he had one kickoff return for 21 yards and a tackle on special teams.
Miami Dolphins (first stint)
After the 2007 season, Jones became a free agent and on March 14, 2008, signed a two-year contract with the Miami Dolphins. The move reunited him with various coaches and front office personnel from the Cowboys, including Bill Parcells who drafted Jones as the Cowboys' head coach in 2004. He played 16 games (1 start), finishing with 15 tackles (13 solo), one interception and 9 special teams tackles (tied for fifth on the team). His 3 sacks tied the NFL lead for a cornerback and the franchise single-season record for defensive backs.
In 2009, he saw action in 16 games (5 starts), registering 35 tackles, 2 interceptions, 10 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles and one sack (tying for fifth in Dolphins history in career sacks by a defensive back). He also led the team with 19 special teams tackles (10th in the NFL).
On March 5, 2010, Jones signed with the Denver Broncos as an unrestricted free agent. He recorded 57 tackles while being used as a safety and nickel cornerback. He was released on August 29, 2011.
Miami Dolphins (second stint)
New England Patriots
During the 2005 offseason, Jones worked in financial management with Merrill Lynch. During the 2006 offseason Jones took classes at the Harvard Business School as part of the NFL’s Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program.
Jones is currently working on a sitcom called Jock Itch, which is a sports version of the television show, Friends. While he is the executive producer, he is working closely with Andre Barnwell, a producer, director and writer for such television shows as Comic View, BET Live and Steve Harvey’s Big Time Challenge, as well as the movie The Way We Do It.
- Broncos Sign Nathan Jones