David "Deacon" Jones

 

David "Deacon" Jones, an NFL Hall of Famer, who is known as one of the best defensive ends of all-time, died of natural causes at his Southern California home on Monday night.

He was 74.

Born in Eatonville, Florida in 1938, Jones played one year of college football at South Carolina St., in 1957, before having his scholarship taken away when the school learned he was part of a civil rights movement.

Jones moved on to Mississippi Vocational College, now Mississippi Valley St., before being selected in the 14th-round of the 1961 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, where he, along with Merlin Olsen, Rosey Grier, and Lamar Lundy made up the "Fearsome Foursome", one of the best defensive lines in NFL history.

With the Rams, Jones received Second-team All-Pro honors in 1964, and First-team honors for five-consecutive years, from 1965-1969, before garnering Second-team honors again, in 1970, while appearing in seven straight Pro Bowls, from 1964 to 1970.

The 6-foot-5, 272-pounder was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in both 1967 and 1968.

Jones was traded by the Rams to the San Diego Chargers, prior to the 1972 season, where he received Second-team All-Pro honors.

He spent one more season with the Chargers, before ending his 14-year career with the Washington Redskins in 1974.

Named to the NFL's 1960 All-Decade Team, Jones unofficially recorded 173.5 sacks during his brilliant career, which culminated with his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

Coincidentally, Jones is credited with coining the term "sacking the quarterback".

After his playing days, Jones spent time as an actor and broadcaster, as well as doing a lot of community work.