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Pro Football Hall of Famer David "Deacon" Jones pumps his fist as he is introduced as part of the largest gathering of living Hall of Fame members during the 2003 NFL Hall of Fame Induction ceremony on August 3, 2003 in Canton, Ohio. Jones died Monday. He was 74. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
David "Deacon" Jones, a Hall of Fame defensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams for much of the 1960s, has died of natural causes in his Anaheim home. He was 74.
Jones was a big man — 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 272 pounds — but was a barely-thought-of, 14th-round-draft pick out of Mississippi Valley State. However, Jones was the leader of the Rams' Fearsome Foursome defensive line unit for more than a decade before ending his career with the San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins.
Jones was famous for using his signature move, the head slap, to get through the offensive line. He used the move repeatedly to bust through and sack the quarterback, a term he is credited with inventing.
The sack did not become an official statistic until 1982, leaving his career total uncertain. However, according to the Rams media guide and his own count, Jones had 173 1/2 sacks — putting him in third on the all-time list.
Jones, an 8-time pro bowler, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.
He also had several small acting roles during and after his career as he appeared in episodes of "The Brady Bunch," "Bewitched," "The Odd Couple," "Wonder Woman" and also in the Warren Beatty film "Heaven Can Wait."