Deacon Jones Dies; NFL Star Was 74

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NFL great David "Deacon" Jones has died at the age of 74. According to a statement from the Washington Redskins, Jones died from natural causes at his home in Southern California.

“Deacon Jones was one of the greatest players in NFL history," said Bruce Allen, general manager of the Redskins. "Off the field, he was a true giant. His passion and spirit will continue to inspire those who knew him. He was cherished member of the Allen family and I will always consider him my big brother.”

Jones was 186th pick in the 1961 NFL Draft, joining the Los Angeles Rams that same year. He played with the team for just over a decade before being traded to the San Diego Chargers. He played his final season with the Redskins in 1974.

On the field, Jones earned his nickname, the "Secretary of Defense," for his high quarterback sack totals. He totaled a combined 50 sacks during the 1967 and 1968 seasons, the same years he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Jones also earned 8 Pro Bowl selections, seven of those coming during his 11 seasons with the Rams. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

(Image courtesy the St. Louis Rams)

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