Broncos Pro Bowl OL, Super Bowl champion Tony Jones dies at 54

The football world is mourning the loss of a champion lineman.

Former tackle Tony Jones passed away at the age of 54, the Denver Broncos announced Friday.

Jones began his career with the Browns as an undrafted free agent out of Western Carolina, playing in Cleveland from 1988-1995 and earning a second-team All-Pro selection in 1994 before making the move with the franchise to Baltimore in 1996. He peaked near the end of his career, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl in 1998 and winning two Super Bowls as a member of the Denver Broncos in 1997 and 1998.

Acquired in exchange for a second-round pick in 1997, Jones played on the right side of the line in his first season in Denver, helping the Broncos win their first Super Bowl by keeping Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White from sacking fellow Hall of Famer John Elway in Denver's upset of Green Bay in Super Bowl XXXII. The tackle nicknamed "T-Bone" then moved to the left side of the line, protecting Elway's blind side in Denver's run to a repeat title in 1998.

"Bone played wherever he had to play,'' former Broncos receiver Rod Smith told KUSA. "He was just a great dude. Always the life of the party. He was the best dresser on the team; he always had a coordinated suit. He was just a great teammate and all the fellas are really hurt by it. Just trying to make sure we all keep up with each other right now."

Jones started in 174 of his 184 career games, including all 60 in Denver from 1997-2000, and was named a member of the Broncos' Top 100 team in 2019.

"He was an amazing guy, a heck of a nice guy," Broncos safety and Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Atwater said, via DenverBroncos.com. "Great football player -- mean, nasty. That's the kind of guy that you want to go to war with if you're going to war. And we were really good friends. We lived in the same neighborhood when we lived in Georgia -- lived down in Sugarloaf down there. We had a pretty good friendship. ... He and one other friend of mine, we got lunch a little bit before I moved from Atlanta, took me out to lunch. I always remember how nice of a guy he was, how great he was with his kids. A good guy, man."

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