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There have been a lot of legendary NFL players who have put up great stats over the years. But very few of them have been so impressive on the football field that they've actually forced the league to create stats to measure their greatness. Yet, that's exactly what David "Deacon" Jones did back in the 1960s and 1970s. Jones died of natural causes on Monday night in Anaheim Hills, Calif. at the age of 74.
Jones—a defensive lineman who played for the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, and Washington Redskins during his storied career—helped coin the term "sack" during his time in the league as a way to describe his habit of tackling quarterbacks behind the line of scrimmage. It led to the league turning defensive sacks into official statistics in 1982. And while that means that Jones himself was never actually credited with a sack, he's still widely regarded as one of the most fearsome defensive players in NFL history.
Here are a few of the reactions to the news of Jones' passing:
Got a lot of respect for Deacon Jones, the sackmaster. My prayers go out to him & family.— Darrelle Revis (@Revis24) June 4, 2013
I awake to the worst news in a while, David "Deacon" Jones is gone home! #SackMaster— Warren Sapp (@WarrenSapp) June 4, 2013
#Redskins GM Bruce Allen: "I will always consider [Deacon Jones] my big brother.”— Redskins (@Redskins) June 4, 2013
R.I.P. Deacon. You will be missed, but your legacy most definitely lives on each and every time an NFL game is played.
[via Los Angeles Times]