Because he played with six teammates on offense -- and eight overall, plus head coach Paul Brown -- who went on to become enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the accomplishments of Browns wingback William “Dub” Jones sometimes get overlooked.
But make no mistake about it, Jones, who was with the Browns for eight seasons (1948-55), is one of the greatest players the team has ever had, especially when it came to maximizing his production every time he touched the ball, both as a runner and receiver.
A product of Tulane by way of the Navy, with which he served three years during World War II as a fireman aboard a submarine, Jones was selected by the Chicago Cardinals in the first round of the 1946 NFL Draft but opted instead to sign that year with the Miami Seahawks of the new All-America Football Conference, a league that also included the Browns. Cleveland acquired him in a trade with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948, and he was part of the club’s third straight league title that season. The Browns went 15-0 and are one of just two teams in pro football history to finish the season perfectly, with no losses or ties.
He rushed for four touchdowns and averaged 20.1 yards a reception as the Browns won the title again in 1949, the last year of the AAFC before it went out of business.
Jones scored a team-high 11 touchdowns -- six rushing and five receiving -- when the Browns went to the NFL in 1950 and also captured the championship there.
But his greatest season -- and his greatest game -- occurred in 1951, when he led the Browns in rushing yards (492), rushing touchdowns (seven) and total touchdowns again (12). His 30 receptions, including an 81-yard score that enabled Jones to have the team’s longest play for the second straight year, were third-best on the Browns and his 19 yards-per-catch average led the club.
Jones, whose son, Bert, was a standout quarterback for the Baltimore Colts in the 1970s, etched his name into the NFL record books with his performance against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 25, 1951 in Cleveland. In a 42-21 win that was marked by the fact it is still the most penalized game in Browns history, Jones scored all six of the club’s touchdowns, tying him with Ernie Nevers (1929) for the most in league history. The mark has since been tied by another Hall of Famer, Gale Sayers (1965).
Jones tallied on four runs and two receptions. He scored on a 2-yard run and a 34-yard catch in the second quarter to give the Browns a 14-0 halftime lead.
He had scoring runs of 12 and 27 yards in the third quarter as Cleveland went ahead 28-7. Then, in the fourth quarter, he had a pair of 43-yard scores, one on a run and the other on a pass.
Jones finished the six-year NFL portion of his career with 150 receptions for 2,514 yards (16.8 average) and 17 touchdowns, as well as 344 rushes for 1,449 yards (4.2) and 15 scores. But when his statistics from the AAFC are added in, he had 171 catches for 2,874 yards and 20 touchdowns, in addition to 2,209 rushing yards and 21 scores in his entire 10-year pro career.
Jones and Ken Gorgal will be in attendance at today’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals and will be honored during a pre-game ceremony as part of the weekly "Alumni Spotlight" on the scoreboard.