The Deacon Finally Gets His Day

By Reid Laymance
Updated: June 23, 2009

ST. LOUIS — Better late than never, the St. Louis Rams will retire No. 75, worn by Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones, who played for the Rams from 1961 to 1971 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980.

For St. Louis Rams fans who are unfamiliar with Jones, here are a few career highlights:

Nicknames surrounded Jones, born in 1938 in Eatonville, Fla. He is credited with coining the term “sack the quarterback” and was nicknamed Secretary of Defense. Through most of the ’60s, Jones teamed with Merlin Olsen, Lamar Lundy and Rosey Grier to make up the defensive line known as the Fearsome Foursome.

Jones accumulated 159.5 sacks with the Los Angeles Rams, 173.5 in his career. After leaving the Rams, Jones played for Chargers and Redskins. Other achievements include:

First defensive lineman to record 100 solo tackles in a single season, 1967.

Two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 1967 and 1968.

Nine-time Pro Bowler.

Member of the NFL’s all-Decade team in the 1960s.

Member of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary team in 1994.

No word on when the Rams will hold the retirement ceremony.