Ed Jasper, Former NFL Defensive Lineman, Dead at 49

Ed Jasper, a former NFL defensive lineman who spent the majority of his time with the Atlanta Falcons, died on Friday, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph. He was 49 years old. Jasper, who played college football at Texas A&M, last played in the NFL in 2005. The cause of death has not been revealed. 

Jasper played high school football at Troup High School in Tyler, Texas and was well respected in the area. "Ed was a tremendous asset to the Troup community," Troup athletic director John Eastman said to the Tyler Morning Telegraph. "Ed and his brother Shane (president of the Troup ISD school board) have a tremendous compassion for the school and the community. It is a loss for our school and community. He will be missed."

During his time at Texas A&M, Japer won the Aggie Heart Award in 1996. The award is given to a senior player who has completed his eligibility and displays the intangibles such as effort, desire, determination, competitiveness, accountability, leadership and courage. Players on the football team vote on who wins the award. 

In 1997, Jasper was selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. In his two seasons with the Eagles, Jasper played in 17 games and recorded 21 tackles and one sack. In 1999, Jasper joined the Falcons and would spend six seasons with the franchise. His best season was in 2000 when he posted 42 tackles, nine tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks with two forced fumbles. He had another strong year in 2003, tallying 41 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and three sacks. Jasper then helped the Falcons reach the NFC Championship game, recording 34 tackles, five tackles for loss and sacks.

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In 2005, Jasper joined the Oakland Raiders and played in 15 of the team's 16 games. In that season, Jasper earned 24 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks and two passes defended. "The Raiders Family mourns the passing of Ed Jasper, who played the final season of his nine-year NFL career with the Raider in 2005," the team said in a statement. The thoughts and prayers of Raider Nation are with Ed's family and friends at this time."