'Deacon' Jones, The NFL's Original Sackmaster, Dies | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

'Deacon' Jones, The NFL's Original Sackmaster, Dies

David "Deacon" Jones, a hall of fame defensive lineman credited with coining the term "sack" for how he would tackle opposing teams' quarterbacks, has died.

He was 74.

According to the NFL's Washington Redskins, the last team Jones played for, he "passed away [Monday] from natural causes at his home in Southern California."

The Pro Football Hall of Fame says of Jones that, "blessed with speed, agility, and quickness, the 'Deacon' became one of the finest pass rushers in the business." In the 1960s, he "teamed with tackle Merlin Olsen to give Los Angeles a perennial All-Pro left side of the defensive line." They were joined on the Rams' line by Rosey Grier and Lamar Lundy to form what became known as the "fearsome foursome." (Olsen died in March 2010; our post about him is here. Lundy died in 2007.)

Over the course of his NFL career, the hall of fame says, Jones:

"Won unanimous all-league honors six straight years from 1965 through 1970. He also played in seven straight Pro Bowls, 1965-1971, and was selected to an eighth in 1973. In both 1967 and 1968, he was chosen the top defensive player in the NFL by one major news service."

He retired after the 1974 season.

Although he's the father of the sack — or at least the word used for the tackling of a quarterback behind the line of scrimmage — Jones isn't among the all-team leaders in that statistic. But NFL.com says that's only because:

"Sacks weren't kept as an official NFL statistic until 1982. Had they been kept far earlier, few doubt Jones would have been among the NFL's all-time leaders. According to the Rams' media guide, Jones recorded a team-best 159.5 sacks with the franchise and 173.5 in his career. He recorded double-digit sacks seven times with the Rams and became the first defensive lineman to post 100 solo tackles in a season (1967)."

The Associated Press adds that "Jones also had several small acting roles both during and after his playing career. He was a guest star on a handful of television shows — including episodes of Bewitched, The Brady Bunch and The Odd Couple — and appeared in the 1978 Warren Beatty film Heaven Can Wait."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Setting Your Movie In Boston? Bettah Get The Accent Right

A new film about mobster Whitey Bulger is in the works, and its success may ride on one crucial detail: whether or not the actors can deliver a convincing "hihowahya?"
NPR

Canadians Fret Merger With Burger Will Change Tim Hortons

Burger King announced it is buying the Canadian doughnut-and-coffee chain for about $11 million. Some Canadian's aren't thrilled that their Timmy's is being taken over by the American burger company.
NPR

After Inspector General Report, Veterans Want More Than Promises

The report said it couldn't be proven that anyone had died because of wait times at the medical center in Phoenix. On Tuesday, President Obama pledged to do better by vets and announced initiatives.
NPR

Pew Study: Facebook, Twitter Users Held Back Views On Snowden

The Pew Research Center report shows that Americans were more willing to have a conversation about NSA leaker Edward Snowden face-to-face than in discussion groups on Facebook or Twitter.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.