Hall of Fame defensive end David "Deacon" Jones has passed away at the age of 74, the Washington Redskins announced late Monday night:
Jones' NFL career ranged from 1961 to 1974. He racked up 173.5 (unofficial) career sacks in 191 games (sacks were not an officially recorded statistic until 1982) to carve out a legacy as one of the greatest players in league history.
Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports reminds us the legend actually coined the term "sack":
Deacon Jones leaves quite a legacy. The pass-rushing terror actually coined the term "sack"... Guy was an NFL icon.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) June 4, 2013
Jones began his college career at South Carolina State before transferring to Mississippi Valley State. He was selected in the 14th round of the 1961 draft by the Los Angeles Rams, thus beginning the legendary career of the sack-master.
In 1980, Jones was a first-ballot inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
During his illustrious career, Jones played for the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins. He was an eight-time All-Pro, eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time Defensive Player of the Year. In 1994, he was selected to the 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.
He started the Deacon Jones Foundation, which is committed to "developing leaders...young, educated, talented, intelligent, accomplished people, who understand their commitment to the inner-city communities from which they come," according to the organization's website.
Super Bowl Champion, New York Giants legend and future Hall of Famer Michael Strahan shared his thoughts on Jones' passing, courtesy of CBS Sports' Josh Katzowitz:
'Deacon was my man,' Strahan said. 'He's always been encouraging. He's always been a mentor. He was a storyteller. I've never heard a guy tell stories the way Deacon told stories, from his head slaps to how they basically changed the game for him. Deacon will be dearly missed by everybody.'
Jones was a dominating presence on and off the field.