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Saturday, June 22, 2013
NFL to honor Deacon Jones

ESPN.com news services

The NFL will honor the late David "Deacon" Jones with an award in his name given to the league leader in sacks.

The NFL's top pass-rushers will vie for the Deacon Jones Award for the 2013 season, according to NFL.com. The tribute was announced Saturday as part of Jones' memorial service in Los Angeles.

Jones, a Hall of Fame defensive end credited with terming the word "sack" for how he knocked down quarterbacks, died earlier this month of natural causes. He was 74.

Because sacks didn't become an official statistic until 1982, Jones' total is uncertain. His impact as a premier pass-rusher and team leader, however, is not.

"Even with his fellow Hall of Famers, Deacon Jones held a special status. He was an icon among the icons," commissioner Roger Goodell tweeted after Jones' death. "He is warmly regarded by his peers not only as one of the greatest players in history but also for his influence & sense of humor."

Jones was the leader of the Rams' Fearsome Foursome 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.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.