The football world witnessed the passing of a titan early Tuesday morning when Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones died at age 74.
The man who invented sacks in the NFL was the anchor of the Los Angeles Rams‘ Fearsome Foursome defensive line in the 1960s, although sacks were not kept as a statistic back then. If they had been, Jones would hold the record for most sacks in a season after he recorded 26 in 1967, which would blow today’s record away. Jones is also credited with the unofficial second-highest sack total in a single season with 24, which recorded in 1968. The most impressive part is both of these unofficial records were set when the NFL regular-season schedule was only 14 games long.
Jones was an eight-time Pro Bowler and was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1974. This year, the Sackmaster was named the 15th greatest NFL player of all-time by Rant Sports and ranks highly on similar lists across the sports world.
In addition to inventing the sack as a play, Jones is also credited with coining the phrase itself. Thank you for revolutionizing the way defense is played and for inventing the sack in football, Deacon. You’ll be missed.