Joe Thomas (linebacker)
Joe Lewis Thomas Jr. (born May 6, 1991) is an American football linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at South Carolina State, and was signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2014.
Thomas in 2015
|No. 48 – Dallas Cowboys|
|Born:||May 6, 1991|
Aiken, South Carolina
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||230 lb (104 kg)|
(Blackville, South Carolina)
|College:||South Carolina State|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2019|
|Player stats at PFR|
Thomas attended Blackville-Hilda High School, where he practiced football, basketball, track and soccer. In football he played as a running back, earning All-state honors in his last two years. As a senior, he rushed for 1,976 yards and 31 touchdowns, while being named Division 1A South Carolina Player of the Year.
Thomas accepted a football scholarship from South Carolina State University. As a redshirt freshman, he played in 11 out of 12 games, contributing mainly on special teams, while posting 17 tackles (2 for loss), one pass defensed and a fumble recovery.
As a sophomore, he started 11 games at outside linebacker, recording 100 tackles (second on the team), 5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 3 interceptions (led the team) and a fumble recovery. He was named the team’s defensive MVP at the end of the season. In his first career start at Central Michigan University, he had 10 tackles (three solo) and his first career interception. Against Indiana University, he made 14 tackles (7 solo). Against Georgia State University, he had 14 tackles (one for loss) and one interception.
As a junior, he started the first 6 games at middle linebacker, before being lost for the season with an injury. Against North Carolina Central University, he had 39 tackles (5 for loss), one sack, one pass defensed and a forced fumble. Against Bethune-Cookman University, he made 11 tackles (3 tackles for loss) and one sack. Against the University of Arizona, he had 10 tackles (8 solo) and a forced fumble.
As a senior, he was a part of a defense that ranked No. 1 in the FCS 1-AA. He helped the school earn its 15th MEAC Championship, winning 17-3 against Norfolk State University, where he made 10 tackles (4 for a loss), and one sack. He started 13 games, registering 115 tackles (led the team), 19 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 5 passes defensed, one interception, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Against Alabama A&M University, he had 12 tackles (5 for loss), 3 sacks and one pass defensed. Against Bethune-Cookman University, he made 16 tackles (9 solo), one sack and a fumble recovery. He also earned Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and All-conference honors.
He finished his college career with 41 games (30 starts), 271 tackles (188 solo), 31 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, 9 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries.
|Height||Weight||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Vertical jump||Broad jump||Bench press|
|6 ft 1 in
|4.70 s||1.58 s||2.77 s||4.64 s||7.45 s||38 in
|9 ft 9 in
|All values are from Pro Day|
Green Bay PackersEdit
Thomas was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Green Bay Packers after the 2014 NFL Draft on May 12. On August 26, 2014, he was placed on the Injured reserve list with a knee injury. Thomas was released after reaching an injury settlement on August 30. On November 3, he was signed to the Packers' practice squad, where he spent the rest of his rookie season.
Thomas was signed to a future contract on January 20, 2015. He was waived on September 5.
Green Bay Packers (second stint)Edit
On September 21, 2015, Thomas was signed to the Green Bay Packers' active roster off the Cowboys' practice squad. He appeared in 14 games, making 24 tackles (16 solo), one sack, one forced fumble, 4 quarterback pressures, 2 passes defensed and 9 special teams tackles (fourth on the team). He played in the 2 playoff games and had eight tackles.
In 2016, he appeared in 16 games (7 starts) at inside linebacker, making 77 total tackles (fourth on the team), 62 solo tackles, 8 passes defensed, one interception and one fumble recovery. He recorded his first NFL interception against Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1. He collected 10 tackles both against the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears. On December 18, Thomas laid a hit on Chicago's Ka’Deem Carey with so much force, that the "C" decal on Carey's helmet flew off. The Packers won the game 30–27. He played in all 3 playoff games (2 starts), tying for No. 4 on the team with 13 tackles.
Thomas re-signed with the Packers on March 7, 2017. He appeared in 12 games (one start), missing 4 contests with an ankle injury. He finished with 14 tackles, a half sack and one pass defensed.
Dallas Cowboys (second stint)Edit
On March 21, 2018, Thomas signed a two-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys. He was a backup, appearing in 10 games, after suffering a foot injury in the Week 5 game against the Houston Texans and missing next four games. He posted 6 tackles (one for loss), one quarterback pressure and 5 special teams tackles (sixth on the team).
In 2019, he appeared in 15 games (2 starts), registering 36 tackles, one quarterback pressure, one forced fumble and one pass deflection. On March 31, 2020, Thomas re-signed with the Cowboys. He was released on September 6, 2020, but re-signed the next day.
NFL career statisticsEdit
Thomas' father, Joe Thomas, Sr., attended his alma mater, South Carolina State University, and became the oldest player (55 years old) to play in an NCAA Division I game on November 19, 2016, when he had a carry for three yards. Unfortunately the father and son were never teammates at South Carolina State since Joe Thomas Sr. was unable to play during Thomas Jr.'s tenure from 2010-2013 after suffering injuries in a car accident.
- "Joe Thomas - South Carolina State, OLB : 2014 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". NFLDraftScout.com. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- "Packers announce roster moves". Packers.com. May 12, 2014. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- "Packers place six players on IR, reduce roster to 75". Packers.com. August 26, 2014. Archived from the original on August 27, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- "Packers activate JC Tretter, release Derek Sherrod". Packers.com. November 3, 2014. Archived from the original on October 28, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- "Packers sign nine free agents". Packers.com. January 20, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- Phillips, Rob (September 8, 2015). "Cowboys sign 5 more to practice squad, including Gus Johnson, WR Mayle". DallasCowboys.com. Archived from the original on March 2, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- "DT Josh Boyd placed on injured reserve". Packers.com. September 21, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- "Jaguars Blake Bortles picked off by Packers Joe Thomas - NFL Videos". NFL.com. September 11, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- "Report: Packers to re-sign LB Joe Thomas". 247sports.com. March 7, 2017.
- Helman, David (March 21, 2018). "Cowboys Add Linebacker Depth By Signing Veteran Joe Thomas". DallasCowboys.com.
- Eatman, Nick (March 19, 2020). "Cowboys Agree to Terms With 2 Veteran LBs". DallasCowboys.com.
- Helman, David (September 6, 2020). "Cowboys Claim WR, Release Veteran LB". DallasCowboys.com. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
- Eatman, Nick (September 7, 2020). "Collins, Lee, Bryant to IR; Cowboys Re-Sign 3 Vets". DallasCowboys.com. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
- Gould, Andrew (November 19, 2016). "55-Year-Old Joe Thomas Sr. Becomes Oldest Player to Play in Division I Game". BleacherReport.com.
- Chase Goodbread (November 19, 2016). "Joe Thomas, at 55, becomes oldest D-I player ever". NFL.com. Retrieved November 19, 2016.