The NFL community lost one of its brightest stars as Deacon (David) Jones passed away yesterday at the age of 74. He revolutionized the defensive end position in the NFL by bringing blazing speed (and the head-slap) to the position, and wreaked havoc on quarterbacks throughout his time in the NFL. He of course coined the term ‘sack’ and turned it into the measure of a great pass rusher. He, by all accounts, retired as the sack leader in the NFL with a total of 194½ sacks (Pro Football Weekly). Since passed by Bruce Smith and Reggie White.
I did see him and the Fearsome Foursome play back in the day, and the guy was relentless. Defensive players at the time weren’t nearly as fast as Deacon, and no one covered the field from sideline to sideline like he did. The Niners were dogmeat in the 60s during most of Deacon’s tenure in LA, and even when the Niners made their playoff push from 69-71, they still had trouble with the Rams and their defense. I hated Roman Gabriel and the Rams with a passion, but you couldn’t help but admire the intense ferocity and determination Deacon Jones brought to the NFL every game and every play. R.I.P. Deacon Jones.
Deacon about to put a head slap on Bob St. Clair