Brent Jones was born on February 12, 1963. After attending Santa Clara University, Jones was a 5th round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 1987, he caught on with the San Francisco 49ers and played in his first NFL games. Brent Jones would play tight end for the 49ers from 1987 until 1997, racking up 417 catches for 5195 yards and 33 touchdowns.
Jones’ Memorable Moments
It was November 15, 1992 and the San Francisco 49ers were playing against their division rivals, the New Orleans Saints. The Saints built a 20-7 lead going into the fourth quarter, but this would not be their day. Brent Jones capped a 5-play 60-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown catch to close to 20-14 with 10:14 remaining. Then, with just 4 minutes remaining, the 49ers took over at their 26-yard line. They moved down the field with a mix of Steve Young passes and Watters runs. On first down and goal from the 8-yard-line, Young dropped back and found Brent Jones wide open in the middle of the end zone for the go ahead score with just 46 seconds remaining. The 49ers beat the Saints 21-20. (1)
On September 23, 1990, the 49ers hosted the Atlanta Falcons. After San Francisco jumped out to a 12-3 lead over the Falcons, Atlanta marched down the field and scored a touchdown to cut the lead to 12-10. On the next possession for the 49ers, Joe Montana hit Brent Jones for a 67-yard touchdown, the second longest of his career. The 49ers held on to win 19-13 and Jones ended up with five catches for a career best 125 yards and a touchdown. (2)
Brent Jones to the Pro Bowl
During Brent Jones’ brilliant career with the San Francisco 49ers, he won 3 Super Bowls and appeared in four Pro Bowls following the 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995 seasons. Perhaps his best season came in 1994 when he caught 49 balls for 670 yards and a career best nine touchdowns.
Brent Jones Retires
Brent Jones was a warrior for the 49ers for his entire career. He was part of three of the 49ers five Super Bowl victories. In 1997, they were in the NFC Championship Game against Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. Brent Jones had been injured and it didn’t look like he would be able to play. “I really thought I wasn't going to be able to play today,” Jones said. “I was pretty down the last day or two. I spent a lot of time just trying to be honest, because I thought it was all over. It didn't end the way I wanted it to, but at least I was out on the field. For me the most painful thing in the world would have been to have to watch from the sidelines.” (3)
The 49ers lost to the Packers. “It hurts an awful lot,” said Jones, who had said earlier that he planned to retire after this season. “I had the expectation of going to the Super Bowl and walking off the field in San Diego. We prepared all year for this game and it didn't happen for us. I really didn't think about it being my last game until the last couple of minutes when guys were coming up to me saying, `Great career.' Guys from the other team were coming over and that made it pretty emotional.”
“It was a miraculous thing that he was able to play today,” quarterback Steve Young said. “He couldn't walk last night. He was on crutches this morning. He got some shots and just decided to play regardless. I give him a lot of respect for showing up and playing. He's one of the 49er greats.” (3)
Over his career, Brent Jones was an important cog in the West Coast Offense, especially on third downs. He may have been the greatest tight end in San Francisco 49ers’ history.
By A. Goodin, 20Yardline.com
Brent Jones Bibliography(1) November 16, 1992, The New York Times “Young Does His Montana Imitation”
(2) September 24, 1990, Chicago Sun Times “Montana Directs 49ers Past Falcons”
(3) 49ERS NOTES Emotions pour out as Jones plays his final game Loss to the Packers really hurts, 49ers tight end says (1998, January 12) The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel