Donnie Jones was already 33 years old and going into his 10th NFL season when he arrived in Philadelphia.
Five years later, he leaves as the greatest punter in Eagles history.
Jones, who announced his retirement Tuesday after 14 seasons (see story), goes out on top, having finished his career with one of the greatest seasons ever by a punter 37 years old and with a Super Bowl ring.
I'll bet you didn't think I could come up with 10 Donnie Jones stats. Guess what!
1. Jones averaged 45.3 yards per punt this year, second-highest in NFL history by a punter 37 years or older. Shane Lechler, who replaced Jones in Houston after the 2012 season, is the only other punter to average over 45 yards per punt at 37 or older.
2. Jones’ average of 46.1 after he turned 35 is second-highest in NFL history by a punter after turning 35. Lechler averaged 47.8 after turning 35. Lechler replaced Jones in Houston after the 2012 season.
3. Jones had three seasons averaging 45 yards per punt after turning 35. Lechler had more than such season after turning 35. And only 10 other punters in NFL history even had one such season.
4. Jones punted seven times in the 2017 postseason. Five inside the 20, one touchback, one fair catch. And zero punt return yards. In his last 10 career games, Jones punted 41 times, allowing just 38 return yards. The Eagles this year became the first Super Bowl champion to not allow a single opposing punt return yard during the postseason since the 1990 Giants. Their punter was former Eagle Sean Landeta.
5. Jones’ 50,500 regular-season punt yards are seventh-most in NFL history. Stretched end to end, those punt yards would go from the Linc to West Chester.
6. Jones is one of 23 punters in NFL history to punt 1,000 or more times. His career average of 45.5 is third-highest of those punters, behind only Lechler (47.6) and Andy Lee (46.4).
7. Jones leaves the Eagles with the top four net punting averages in franchise history: 41.6 in 2015, 40.7 in 2016, 40.6 this past year and 40.5 in 2013. Next-highest is Sav Rocca’s 39.0 in 2010.
8. Over the last eight years, Jones had nearly five times more punts inside the 20 as touchbacks (236 to 52). As an Eagle, he had 144 inside the 20 and 33 touchbacks.
9. Jones finished his career with eight seasons averaging 45.0 yards or better. Only Lechler (17 seasons) and Lee (10) had more such seasons. Thomas Morstead and Mike Scifres also had eight.
10. Jones’ 45.3 average this past season is third-highest ever by a punter in his 14th season, behind — of course — Lechler (47.6 in 2013) and Lee (47.3 this year).