(via Fox2now.com: Deacon Jones, one of the NFL’s greatest defensive ends, dies)
CNN) — David “Deacon” Jones, who is credited with coining the term “sacking the quarterback” during his stint as one of the greatest defensive ends in the NFL, has died.
He was 74.
Jones died of natural causes at his home in Southern California, the Washington Redskins said Monday night.
“Deacon Jones was one of the greatest players in NFL history,” said Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen. “Off the field, he was a true giant. His passion and spirit will continue to inspire those who knew him.”
Jones started his NFL career in 1961 with the Rams. He spent 11 seasons there. And along with Rosey Grier, Lamar Lundy and Merlin Olsen, he formed one of the best lines of all time: the Fearsome Four.
One of the most feared linesmen in the game, Jones perfected the head slap (now illegal) and said he wished that, after messing with him, opposing players would wake up “hopefully on Tuesday.”
Rams fans nicknamed him “Secretary of Defense.” And in 1999, Sports Illustrated named him the “Defensive End of the Century.”
In 1972, he was traded to the Chargers, and he finished his career with the Redskins in 1974.
In later years, Jones worked as a radio host, served as a spokesman for the blood-pressure drug Atacand and started the Deacon Jones Foundation to mentor inner-city high school students.
He also published an autobiography titled, what else, “Head Slap.”