Hall of Fame defensive end David "Deacon" Jones, credited for using the word 'sack' when knocking down quarterbacks, died of natural causes at his home in Southern California. He was 74.
"Deacon Jones was one of the greatest players in NFL history. Off the field, he was a true giant," said Redskins general manager Bruce Allen, whose father, George, coached Jones with the Los Angeles Rams.
"His passion and spirit will continue to inspire those who knew him. He was a cherished member of the Allen family and I will always consider him my big brother," Allen added.
A known premier pass rusher and team leader, Jones' career sacks total is uncertain because sacks didn't become an official statistic until 1982.
According to the Rams, Jones had 159 1/2 sacks for them and 173 1/2 for his career — all unofficial, of course. Jones also was one of the most durable players, missing just five games in his 14 pro seasons.
A 14th-round draft pick in 1961 out of Mississippi Valley State, which later produced Jerry Rice, Jones was the first defensive lineman with 100 solo tackles, reaching that mark in 1967.
Jones was the leader of the Rams' Fearsome Foursome unit from 1961-71 and then played for San Diego for two seasons before finishing his career with the Redskins in 1974.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and made the league's 75th anniversary all-time squad.
Jones made the Pro Bowl every year from 1964-70 and played in eight overall. He combined with fellow Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen, Rosey Grier and Lamar Lundy on a formidable defensive line.
Olsen died in March 2010 at age 69 and Lundy died in February 2007 at 71. Grier, who is 80, is the only surviving member of the Fearsome Foursome.
During and after his playing career, Jones appeared on small television roles in episodes of "Bewitched," ''The Brady Bunch" and "The Odd Couple". He also appeared in the 1978 Warren Beatty film "Heaven Can Wait."
Jones was the CEO of his own foundation, which he began in 1997. He also made several trips to visit troops on active duty in the Middle East.
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