NFL Commissioner Roger Goodwell announced Saturday that an award has been created in honor of the late Deacon Jones, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 74.
The annual Deacon Jones Award will be presented to the the defender who registers the most quarterback sacks, beginning with the 2013 season. It will be part of the nationally-televised NFL Honors awards show.
Jones, who played in the league for 17 seasons, was a true pioneer of defensive football. The Pro Football Hall of Famer was the originator of the term ‘sack.’
Back in Jones’ playing days, there was no measurement for or a term to accurately describe a quarterback take-down. Jones’ extraordinary play inspired it.
In 1982, eight years after Jones’ retirement, the league officially began recording sacks.
The Deacon Jones Award will be the third annual NFL award focusing exclusively on a defensive player.