To permanently honor the impact of Deacon Jones on the NFL, beginning in 2013 and in each season beyond, the player with the most sacks will be presented with the “Deacon Jones Award.”
The award will be featured annually on NFL Honors, the league’s primetime awards event held the night before the Super Bowl.
“Deacon Jones was an icon among icons,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Even with his fellow Hall of Famers, Deacon Jones held a special status. He was a hard-charging football player and the original sack artist who coined the term. He is warmly regarded by his peers not only as one of the greatest players in NFL history but also for his tremendous influence and sense of humor. This award will ensure that players, coaches, fans and the media will remember the impact that Deacon had on all of us and know that he represents unique qualities deserving of this kind of honor.”
Deacon Jones died on June 3 at the age of 74. One of the greatest defensive players in NFL history, Jones was a fixture at defensive end from 1961-74 with the Rams, Chargers and Redskins, earning unanimous all-league honors in five consecutive seasons. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.