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Deacon Jones Passes Away at 74

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The Greatest Ram of them all has passed away.

David Boss-US PRESSWIRE

Brain Tinsman of Redskins.com broke the sad news of the passing of one of football's greats.

The Rams have had many great players throughout their history. Giants of the game have put on the horns, but none were as charismatic or as great as David "Deacon" Jones.

The Secretary of Defense was part of the Fearsome Foursome for the Rams that glamorized defense for the first time in profesional football. Merlin Olson was the anchor of the line, while Rosey Grier and Lamar Lundy were tremendous in their roles, but make no mistake; Deacon was the heart of the most famous defensive line in NFL history.

Deacon Jones coined the term sack, saying sacking the QB is "like if you put all the offensive players in one bag, and I just take a baseball bat and beat on the bag."

If sacks were tracked during his playing years, there is little doubt that the headslap master would be the NFL's All Time leader in sacks.

He was a pioneer of the position, combing speed, power and quickness in a way that was never seen before in a defensive lineman.

Deacon Jones had to take the tough path to NFL stardom. He went to a very small college, South Carolina St University, which he was later kicked out of for participating in the Civil Rights movement (shout out to Da Rams! for reminding me). He moved on to Mississippi Vocational College and he was drafted in the 14th round by the LA Rams. He overcame the odds, and became a legend of the game.

Deacon Jones made 6 straight All-NFL teams and 7 Pro-Bowl teams, and in 1967 and 1968, Jones was named the NFL Defensive Player of the year.

There are three numbers hanging from the rafters at the Edward Jones Dome. Superman's 28, the Reverend's 80 and the Secretary of Defense's 75. All are great, but Faulk and Bruce's legacies are minuscule in comparison to Deacon's.

The greatest Rams who ever was, and likely will ever be, has passed away. May he rest in peace. Heaven's quarterbacks better keep their heads on a swivel.