How large does Pro Football Hall of Famer David "Deacon" Jones loom in NFL history? Let's put it this way: Jones, who died Monday night at 74, is widely credited with first using the word "sack" to describe tackling opposing quarterbacks. Sacks didn't become an official statistic until years after Jones' 14-year career ended, so no one knows exactly how many he had. His impact on the game, however, is more easily quantified: Enormous.
As a cornerstone of the Los Angeles Rams' "Fearsome Foursome" defensive line, Jones, at 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, genuinely inspired fear in opposing quarterbacks with the strength, quickness and ferocity he brought to the position. Though his career ended nearly 40 years ago, Jones is being remembered by NFL players on Twitter and by SportsNation as an innovator who reshaped the way defensive ends play the game, as well for his later appearances in TV shows and commercials.
Reflecting & HONORING a true warrior & legend Deacon Jones. Thank you for blazing the trail so we all could soar. Your legacy lives forever— Steven Jackson (@sj39) June 4, 2013
RIP to my friend, mentor and idol Mr. Deacon Jones. Was always there for me from the beginning and led the way for all if us DE's! #headslap— Michael Strahan (@michaelstrahan) June 4, 2013
Got a lot of respect for Deacon Jones, the sackmaster. My prayers go out to him & family.— Darrelle Revis (@Revis24) June 4, 2013
Deacon Jones. A true 60's innovator, showman & caring activist. Head slap, sack, civilized violence..U invented & coined them. De Salud-RIP— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) June 4, 2013
Deacon Jones filled my childhood and adolescent years in LA with vivid pictures of greatness. I thanked him every time I saw him. RIP 75— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) June 4, 2013
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