NFL names award for most sack after Deacon Jones
Starting 2013, the NFL's leader in sacks will receive the Deacon Jones Award, according to NFL.com.
The NFL made the announcement as part of a tribute to Jones during memorial services held for him in Los Angeles this weekend. The Hall of Famer died less than three weeks ago due to natural causes. He was 74-years-old at the time of his death.
Ironically Jones’ career sacks total cannot be quantified since the term did not become an official statistic until 1982. Jones played his career debut with the Los Angeles Rams in 1961 and retired from the NFL after the 1974 season. However, his impact in the game as a premier pass-rusher and team leader cannot be denied.
"Even with his fellow Hall of Famers, Deacon Jones held a special status. He was an icon among the icons," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said of Deacon Jones (via Twitter) following the former NFL defensive end’s death earlier this month. "He is warmly regarded by his peers not only as one of the greatest players in history but also for his influence & sense of humor."
Now, the man who coined the term quarterback sack, will now be forever memorialized in a new award recognizing the player who leads the league in sacks at the end of each season. The Deacon Jones Award will be among those featured in the nationally televised “NFL Honors” award show the night before Super Bowl each year.
Jones spent most of his 14-year career with the Los Angeles Rams (1961-1971), where he managed eight Pro Bowl berths and was the leader of the Rams’ Fearsome Foursome. He also recorded at least 20 sacks in four separate seasons with the Rams, according to NFL historian John Turney. Then Jones played two seasons for the San Diego Chargers before finishing his NFL career with the Washington Redskins in 1974. Soon after, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall (1980), and also made the league's 75th anniversary all-time squad.