Biography: Tom Jackson, LB

Tom Jackson
Denver Broncos linebacker Tom Jackson (57) during a game in 1979. Tom Jackson – Denver Broncos – File Photos (AP Photo/NFL Photos)
Tom Jackson was the only player inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 1992.

“TJ” always was one of the most popular players among his teammates, who voted him most inspirational player six consecutive seasons (1981-86). Selected by the Broncos in the fourth round (88th overall) of the 1973 NFL Draft from the University of Louisville, Jackson finished his 14-year career (1973-86) having played the most games in Broncos history at 191 and currently stands fourth on that list. He also finished his career tied for second in games started by a Bronco with 177 (currently tied for fourth) and is one of only five Broncos to wear the Denver uniform for at least 14 seasons.

Jackson, who started every possible game in a season seven times for his career, made three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances from 1977-79 and was named first-team All- Pro twice (1977-78). He also was named by his teammates as Denver’s defensive MVP in 1974, ‘76 and ‘77.

The linebacker helped the Broncos to six playoff berths (1977-79, ‘83-84, ‘86), four division titles (1977-78, ‘84, ‘86) and two Super Bowls (XII in 1977, XXI in ‘86). He was a key member of the 1977 squad that posted a 12-2 regular-sea- son record en route to earning the franchise’s first-ever playoff berth and advancing to Super Bowl XII against the Cowboys.

Jackson is tied with fellow Ring of Famer Randy Gradishar for the most interceptions in Broncos history by a linebacker with 20, a career total that currently ties for the 10th highest by any player in club annals. His seven interceptions in 1976 mark the highest single-season total by a linebacker in Broncos history. Jackson finished among Denver’s top five tacklers during 11 consecutive seasons from 1974-84 and recorded a career-high 169 stops in 1980.

Upon his retirement following the 1986 season, he was fifth on the Broncos’ all-time sack list with 44 and currently is 10th on that chart. Jackson joined the Broncos after a standout career at Louisville, where he was a three-time all-conference selection.