AFL GAMES PLAYED (regular season, playoffs): 2003 (12,1), 2004 (16). Total (28,1).
AFL NOTES: After honing his talents in the NFL and CFL, Jermaine Jones moved indoors in 2003 and made an immediate impact on the Arena Football League. His ability to make plays and find the ball set a new standard for Dallas defensive backs. While getting a late start on the 2003 season after spending the first month on the Desperados exempt list, Jones put together a record-setting season that led to an All-Rookie team selection. He returned in 2004 and picked up where he left off leading the team in tackles (74.5), passes defensed (14) and interceptions (four). With two seasons under his belt, Dallas coaches are expecting Jones to become the veteran leader in the Desperados defensive backfield.
AFL 2004: Jones picked up where he finished his rookie season leading or tying for the team lead in tackles nine times while finishing with a club record 74.5 tackles. He also batted away 14 passes (tied for fifth in the league) and intercepted four (tied for eighth in the league). In the season opener against Carolina (2/8), he tallied three tackles and a game-high two pass deflections. Against Philadelphia (2/15), he added three more tackles and two passes defensed before earning ADT Defensive Player of the Game honors with two tackles and an interception at New York (2/22). At Columbus (2/29), Jones notched a team-high 6.5 tackles and an interception. Against Grand Rapids (3/6), he tied for the team lead with four tackles and recovered a fourth quarter fumble that allowed Dallas to score and take a 15-point lead. At Carolina (3/13), he once again led the team with six tackles while deflecting a pass in the end zone. He finished with two tackles against Los Angeles (3/21) before finishing second on the team with 2.5 tackles and a pass breakup at Philadelphia (4/4). He posted a game-high tying eight tackles with a pass deflection and a fumble recovery against San Jose (4/10). Jones tied for second on the squad with three tackles at Arizona (4/18), then added a game-high 5.5 tackles and an onside kick recovery at Orlando (4/25). Against New York (5/1), he once again led the team with nine tackles while picking off a fourth quarter Garcia pass. He led the team with 7.5 stops with two passes defensed at Austin (5/9) before picking up 2.5 tackles and tying his single game career-high with four pass deflections at Chicago (5/16). Against Columbus (5/22), he led the team with four tackles while intercepting a third quarter pass. He closed out the season with a team-high six stops against Tampa Bay (5/30) allowing him to finish the season with a club-record 74.5 tackles.
AFL 2003: Despite missing the first quarter of the season, Jones put together a record setting season in his first indoor campaign, earning All-Rookie honors after finishing the regular season with team records for tackles (73.5) and passes defensed (18). His 73.5 tackles ranked ninth in the league, while his 18 pass deflections was tied for 12th. Jones was placed on the Desperados Reserve/Exempt list Dec. 11 after signing with the Dallas Cowboys. He was activated from Reserve/Exempt Feb. 28 and made his Arena Football league debut two days later at Arizona (3/2), posting a team-high five tackles and breaking up a pass. The next week against Colorado (3/7), he again led the team with five stops while picking off his first indoor pass and returning the theft 45 yards for a touchdown. He also added a tackle for a loss against the Crush. He tied for the team lead with four tackles and broke up two passes against Grand Rapids (3/16), then totaled 4.5 stops and three passes defensed at Carolina (3/21). Against Indiana (3/29), he recorded six stops and broke up a pass. The next week against San Jose (4/6), Jones registered a career-high 10 tackles while deflecting a pass. He led the team with 8.5 tackles at Indiana (4/13) before tallying a game-high 9.5 stops at Chicago (4/20). He also broke up a Rush pass and forced a fumble in overtime to set up Dallas’s winning touchdown drive. He recorded a team-high five stops and two pass deflections against Los Angeles (4/27) while helping the Dallas defense hold the Avengers out of the end zone on five-of-13 offensive possessions. Jones totaled three tackles and a pass defensed against Tampa Bay (5/4), then tallied four stops and a pass defensed at Georgia (5/10). In the regular season finale at Grand Rapids (5/18), Jones registered a team-high nine tackles and a career-high four passes defensed in helping the Desperados defeat the Rampage and clinch the Central Division title. In his first postseason action, he posted 6.5 tackles and a pass defensed against Georgia (/24).
OTHER PRO EXPERIENCE: 2003 – Jones went to training camp with the Cleveland Browns of the NFL but was released prior to the start of the season. 2002 – Jones returned to training camp with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League but was released at the end of camp. He signed with the Desperados on Dec. 9 before signing with the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 11. He saw action on special teams against Philadelphia (12/21) but recorded no stats. 2001 – Jones signed with the Cowboys on Jan. 31, and posted 12 tackles, two passes defensed and a fumble recovery during preseason action. He was released at the end of training camp and signed with the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos on Sept. 14. He saw action in eight regular season games for the Eskimos, recording 22 tackles, five passes defensed, two fumble recoveries – including a 79-yarder for a score – and an interception. He posted another four tackles in Edmonton’s only playoff game. 2000 – He was released by the Chicago Bears in July and signed with the N.Y. Giants July 25. He was released by the Giants four days later (July 29) and spent the NFL season out of football. 1999 – Jones was drafted in the fifth round (162nd overall) of the NFL Draft by the N.Y. Jets. He was released Sept. 14, then signed onto the Chicago Bears practice squad Sept. 21. He was signed to the Bears active roster on Dec. 1 but did not play in Chicago’s final four games.
COLLEGE: 1998 – Jones earned All-Southland Conference honors and was the league’s defensive player of the year as a senior at Northwestern State. He was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in NCAA division 1-AA ranks, registering 52 tackles, 21 passes defensed and a school record six interceptions for 232 yards and two touchdowns. He contributed 18 kickoff returns for 406 yards (22.6 avg.). 1997 – As a junior, he was an All-Southland Conference first-team selection after finishing the season with 37 tackles, two sacks, 16 passes defensed, five interceptions and a fumble recovery. 1996 – Jones was selected All-Southland Conference second-team as a sophomore after winning the starting job at cornerback. He amassed 40 tackles, eight passes defensed and two interceptions. 1995 – As a redshirt freshman, Jones played in every game as a reserve receiver and caught five passes for 114 yards. 1994 – He was redshirted as a true freshman, but was a walk-on with the basketball team.
PERSONAL: Jones was an all-state and district offensive MVP as a senior at Central Catholic High School in Morgan City, LA. He was also a two-time all-district pick during his four-year basketball career. During the offseason, Jones runs a training clinic in Louisiana and works with high school and college athletes to improve their strength, endurance and speed. Jones has participated in The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, providing less fortunate children with clothes and toys for Christmas.