David 'Deacon' Jones, NFL Hall Of Famer, Dies At 74
David “Deacon” Jones, Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end, died at age 74 of natural causes on Monday.
Jones was credited with first coining the term “sack” in football. Sacks didn’t become an NFL statistic, however, until 1982 – nearly ten years after he retired. Jones is also credited with creating the head slap, a move so dangerous that the NFL banned it.
Jones was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980, six years after his retirement. In his 14 years as a professional football player, he only missed five games. In 1999, Sports Illustrated named him “Defensive End of the Century.”
While playing for the Rams, Jones and fellow defensive players Merlin Olsen, Lamar Lundy, and Rosey Grier together formed “The Fearsome Foursome,” one of the NFL’s most famous defensive lines. Grier, 80, is the only surviving member of the foursome.
The announcement of Jones’ passing was made Tuesday morning by Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen, whose father George Allen coached Jones with the Rams. Jones played for three teams throughout his professional career: the Los Angeles Rams, the San Diego Chargers, and the Washington Redskins.