The Washington Redskins have learned last night through EVP/General Manager Bruce Allen that Pro Football Hall of Famer David “Deacon” Jones has passed away from natural causes at his home in Southern California. He was 74 years old.
“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.”
David “Deacon” Jones, who played for head coach George Allen with both the Los Angeles Rams and Redskins, Jones played defensive end in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Rams (1961-71), San Diego Chargers (1972-73), and the Redskins (1974).
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility. Jones elected to have George Allen as his presenter in Canton.
The Allen family had Jones present George Allen for his former coach's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction in 2002.
Jones specialized in quarterback sacks, a term he coined. Nicknamed the "Secretary of Defense", Jones is considered one of the greatest defensive players ever.
Jones was draft in the 14th round of the 1961 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams.
He immediately became a part of the Fearsome Foursome defensive line of the Rams (along with Larry Lundy, Rosey Grier, and Merlin Olsen), which is now considered one of the best lines of all time.
In 1972, Jones was included in a multi-player trade with the San Diego Chargers and concluded his career with the Redskins in 1974.
Jones won consensus All-Pro honors for five consecutive seasons from 1965 through 1969, earned eight Pro Bowl honors and was twice named NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year (1967-68).
In 1994, he also was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. In 1999, he was named by Sports Illustrated as the "Defensive End of the Century."
The Jones family has request that their privacy be respected at this time.