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Published: June 4, 2013 at 06:11 p.m.
Updated: June 4, 2013 at 07:09 p.m.

Ten things you didn't know about Deacon Jones

The passing of Deacon Jones serves as a reminder of just how unique of an individual the Pro Football Hall of Famer was in life. In that spirit, we present 10 things you might not have known about one of the game's all-time greats.

10 Photos Total

  • 10. Apparently kept old jockstraps 10

    Ben Liebenberg/NFL

    10. Apparently kept old jockstraps

    A young reporter learned it wasn't such a good idea to question Deacon Jones on his football knowledge. The result was typical, quotable Jones: "Man, I've got jockstraps older than you!"

  • 9. Nicknamed himself Deacon 9

    Associated Press

    9. Nicknamed himself Deacon

    David Jones is about as common a name there is. That's why Jones, cognizant of his early career anonymity, conjured up his own nickname: Deacon. "Football is a violent world and Deacon has a religious connotation. I thought a name like that would be remembered," Jones told the Los Angeles Times. One could make a case that Jones' creation turned out to be the NFL's all-time best nickname.

  • 8. 26 sacks in one season 8

    National Football League

    8. 26 sacks in one season

    Quarterback sack totals didn't become an official NFL statistic until 1982; that's extremely unfortunate given the plethora of outstanding pass rushers who toiled in the NFL long before then. This means that the man who coined the term "sack" is excluded from the record books. Thankfully, there are people who have gone back through the old game footage to record Deacon Jones' incredible sack totals. In 1967, Jones (unofficially) registered 26 sacks, a standard that would eclipse the current single-season record of 22.5 by Michael Strahan. That total becomes more impressive when you realize that it was accomplished in a 14-game season. For an encore, Jones (unofficially) had 24 sacks in 1968.

  • 7. Durable player 7

    National Football League

    7. Durable player

    Deacon Jones played 14 seasons in the trenches of the NFL, yet he somehow managed to miss just five games. He played in 191 of a possible 196 regular-season games at defensive end in his career.

  • 6. Only 14th-round draft choice in the Hall of Fame 6

    Associated Press

    6. Only 14th-round draft choice in the Hall of Fame

    Deacon Jones is the only NFL player selected in the draft's 14th round to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There only are seven other members of the Hall of Fame besides Jones, the 186th selection in the 1961 NFL Draft, taken later than the 14th round.

  • 5. Came out of the same college as Jerry Rice 5

    Associated Press/NFL

    5. Came out of the same college as Jerry Rice

    Deacon Jones came to the NFL out of tiny Mississippi Vocational College. Mississippi Vocational College would later be renamed Mississippi Valley State, which produced Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice. It's amazing to consider that one small school produced two players who arguably are the greatest ever at their respective positions.

  • 4. Deacon Jones, the actor 4


    4. Deacon Jones, the actor

    Deacon Jones' enthusiasm for performing in front of an audience extended beyond the gridiron. Jones appeared in multiple movies, including "Heaven Can Wait," as well as TV shows such as "The Brady Bunch," "The Odd Couple" and "Wonder Woman".

  • 3. Deacon Jones, the musician 3

    Associated Press

    3. Deacon Jones, the musician

    In 1965, the members of the Los Angeles Rams' famed "Fearsome Foursome" -- Deacon Jones, Lamar Lundy, Rosey Grier and Merlin Olsen -- appeared on "Shindig!" to perform "Since You've Been Gone." This was a precursor to Jones' off-the-field hobby of performing in nightclubs as a rhythm and blues singer.

  • 2. Recognized as a clean player 2

    David F. Smith/Associated Press

    2. Recognized as a clean player

    Deacon Jones was known for saying utterly bombastic things in front of a camera. He's stated such things as, "I'd made up my mind that I wasn't taking any prisoners and the wounded would be shot," and the graphic "Sacking a quarterback is just like you devastate a city or you cream a multitude of people." Despite such bravado, Jones was known as a clean player. Aggressive, yes, but not one to administer a cheap shot. "I played against him a thousand times. Never once did he hit me below the knees. Never once did he try to clothesline me. Never once did he have a dirty play. He was a fair player and a great player," Minnesota Vikings Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton told NFL Network.

  • 1. Kicked an extra point in final NFL game 1

    Nate Fine/Pro Football Hall of Fame

    1. Kicked an extra point in final NFL game

    Long before the likes of Chad Ochocinco or Ndamukong Suh convinced their coaches to allow them to kick, Deacon Jones put an exclamation point on his stellar career. In his final game in the NFL, Jones convinced Washington Redskins coach George Allen to allow him to kick an extra point. The kick was successful, and an appropriate conclusion to the career of one of the game's all-time great characters.

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