Hall of Fame defensive end David "Deacon" Jones died at his home in Southern California on Monday night, leaving behind a storied legacy as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history. The "Secretary of Defense" was 74 and died of natural causes.
Jones is attributed for coining the term "sack" that has become common in football vernacular, although sacks weren't recorded as an official stat during his playing years.
Brandon Birkhead of SB Nation's Turf Show Times wrote about Jones on Tuesday morning, calling him "The Greatest Ram of them all."
The Rams have had many great players throughout their history. Giants of the game have put on the horns, but none were as charismatic or as great as David "Deacon" Jones.
The Secretary of Defense was part of the Fearsome Foursome for the Rams that glamorized defense for the first time in profesional football. Merlin Olson was the anchor of the line, while Rosey Grier and Lamar Lundy were tremendous in their roles, but make no mistake; Deacon was the heart of the most famous defensive line in NFL history.
A 14th round pick in the 1961 NFL Draft, Jones played 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams before finishing his career with short stints with the San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins. In a press release on Monday night, Redskins general manager Bruce Allen spoke about Jones:
"Deacon Jones was one of the greatest players in NFL history. Off the field, he was a true giant. His passion and spirit will continue to inspire those who knew him" said Allen. "He was cherished member of the Allen family and I will always consider him my big brother."
Jones was inducted in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility, and was ranked as the No. 15 best player of all-time by NFL Network in 2010.