Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Deacon Jones dies at 74

The SportsXchange

Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end David "Deacon" Jones, a member of the Los Angeles Rams' legendary Fearsome Foursome defensive line, died Monday at age 74.

According to the Los Angeles Times, he died of natural causes at home in Anaheim Hills, Calif.

Jones originated the football term "sacking the quarterback," though he wasn't credited with any sacks in his playing days. Sacks only were officially recognized starting in 1982, well after he retired.

Jones starred with the Rams from 1961-71, teaming with Merlin Olsen, Rosie Grier and Lamar Lundy to form the Fearsome Foursome. Jones was a star in his own right, though, earning the nickname, the "Secretary of Defense."

He was known for his head-slap maneuver that later was outlawed by the NFL.

Jones rose from humble beginnings, as he was a 14th-round draft pick in 1961 out of Mississippi Vocational College, which later became Mississippi Valley State, Jerry Rice's alma mater. He went on to receive eight Pro Bowl selections and make first-team All-Pro every year from 1965-69.

Following his time with the Rams, Jones played for the San Diego Chargers in 1972 and '73, then for the Washington Redskins in 1974. He was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, and he was later chosen a member of the NFL's 75th-anniversary team.

After stepping away from football, Jones appeared in television shows and commercials. He also began the Deacon Jones Foundation in 1997, which points youths toward community service.
View Comments (31)