NFL legendary defensive end David “Deacon” Jones, who coined the term ‘sack’ and routinely terrorized opposing quarterbacks as a member of the ‘Fearsome Foursome,’ has passed away at the age of 74.
According to the Washington Redskins team website, Jones died of natural causes Monday night at his home in Southern California.
Jones, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, spent 14 seasons in the National Football League, suiting up for the Los Angeles Rams from 1961-1971, the San Diego Chargers from 1972-1973, and the Washington Redskins in 1974.
He never won a championship ring, but his career accolades and impact on the game solidified his career as one of the greatest in NFL history.
A 1961 draft pick out of Mississippi Vocational College, now known as Mississippi Valley State, Jones earned consensus All-Pro recognition for five straight seasons and was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times.
He was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in both 1967 and 1968 and was named to the 1960s All-Decade Team.
In 1994, he was selected to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, and was named “Defensive End of the Century” by Sports Illustrated.
Prior to Jones’ arrival in the National Football League, there had never been a pass rusher of his caliber and there was no such statistic for measuring take-downs of a quarterback.
Now the ‘sack’ is considered one of, if not the signature play of a defense in football at every level.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth.