Tony Franklin (American football)
|Date of birth:||November 18, 1956|
|Place of birth:||Big Spring, Texas|
|Height:||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight:||182 lb (83 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||1979 / Round: 3 / Pick: 74|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Anthony Ray Franklin (born November 18, 1956 in Big Spring, Texas) is a former National Football League football kicker in the National Football League between 1979 and 1988 for the Philadelphia Eagles, the New England Patriots, and the Miami Dolphins. Franklin was best known for his barefoot kicking style. He played college football at Texas A&M.
Franklin played college football at Texas A&M University where he set the record for the longest field goal in Division I-A history when he made a kick of 65 yards on October 16, 1976 against Baylor University. For a very brief period, this was tied for the overall record for all of American college football with J.T. Haxall of Princeton University, having made a 65-yard kick in 1882, but it did not last as Ove Johansson of Abilene Christian University, which at the time was a member of NAIA Division I, made a 69-yard field goal on the same day. Franklin's D-IA record only lasted until 1977, when both Russell Erxleben and Steve Little made 67-yard field goals, and he has since been passed by two other men and tied by Martin Gramatica. However, Franklin set a record by kicking a 64-yard field goal in the same game. This made him the only kicker in NCAA history to connect on two field goals of sixty or more yards in the same game.
Franklin finished his collegiate career with 18 NCAA records, including most career field goals (56), career kick scoring (291 points), most field goals of 50 yards or longer in a career (16), most field goals made in a three-year career (45) and longest average for field goals made in a career (39.5 yards). He was a consensus All-American pick as a sophomore in 1976 and earned All-American honors again as a senior in 1978. He was a Second-team All-America selection as a junior, in 1977.
He is listed as a "Legend of the Sun Bowl" by the Sun Bowl Association for his 63-yard field goal against Florida. He is also a member of the Sun Bowl's 75th Anniversary All-Sun Bowl Team.
Franklin was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the third round of the 1979 NFL Draft. He was credited with the fourth longest field goal (at the time) in NFL history during his rookie year with the Eagles, a 59-yarder at Dallas on November 12, 1979. Franklin played in Super Bowl XV and kicked a 30-yard field goal.
On February 21, 1984, Franklin was traded to the New England Patriots for a sixth-round draft choice in the 1985 NFL Draft. He led the NFL in scoring (140 points) and field goals made (32) in 1986 and was selected to represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl. He played in Super Bowl XX and kicked a 36-yard field goal. The 32 field goals he made in 1986 was a Patriots single-season franchise record until Stephen Gostkowski broke the record in 2008. After being cut by New England, Franklin was out of football until 1988, when an injury crisis led the Miami Dolphins to sign him. Unfortunately, Franklin's time with the Dolphins was highlighted by a disastrous game against his former team where he missed three field goals (including a 23-yarder) and the Patriots ended Miami's playoff hopes with a 6-3 road win. Franklin was cut after that and never played another game in the NFL.
- Curtis, Jake (August 18, 2010). "How Swede it was". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- "FWAA All-time All-Americans" (PDF).
- "Sun Bowl Association Honors 75 Players On 75th Anniversary Team".