Deacon Jones Award To Be Given Yearly To Single Season Sack Leader

In an effort to keep the legacy of Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones alive following his passing a few weeks ago, the NFL will start awarding the yearly leader in quarterback sacks the Deacon Jones Award beginning in 2013.

The new award recognizing the NFL\’s top pass rusher was announced at Jones\’ memorial service in Los Angeles on Saturday. Although the sack stat didn\’t become an official stat until 1982, Jones is considered one of the best ever at rushing the quarterback and even came up with the term “sack” himself.

“I developed a term that is used in the game right now called sacking the quarterback,” Jones is quoted on “Sacking a quarterback is just like you devastate a city or you cream a multitude of people. I mean it\’s just like you put all the offensive players in one bag and I just take a baseball bat and beat on the bag.”

With the future award now in place, only one former member of the Pittsburgh Steelers would have won it in previous years as Kevin Greene led the league in 1994 with 14 sacks, which was the second least amount to lead the league since sacks became an official stat. Curiously enough, Greene also led the league in sacks in 1996 with 14.5 as a member of the Carolina Panthers.

Former Steelers linebacker James Harrison sill holds the franchise single-season record for sacks with 16, and that was accomplished in 2008.

The new award is a great tribute to Jones and hopefully another Jones, Steelers rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones, can one day win the award.

NFL Single Season Sack Leaders 1982-2012

1982Doug Martin11.5Minnesota Vikings
1983Mark Gastineau19New York Jets
1984Mark Gastineau22New York Jets
1985Richard Dent17Chicago Bears
1986Lawrence Taylor20.5New York Giants
1987Reggie White21Philadelphia Eagles
1988Reggie White18Philadelphia Eagles
1989Chris Doleman21Minnesota Vikings
1990Derrick Thomas20Kansas City Chiefs
1991Pat Swilling17New Orleans Saints
1992Clyde Simmons19Philadelphia Eagles
1993Neil Smith15Kansas City Chiefs
1994Kevin Greene14Pittsburgh Steelers
1995Bryce Paup17.5Buffalo Bills
1996Kevin Greene14.5Carolina Panthers
1997John Randle15.5Minnesota Vikings
1998Michael Sinclair16.5Seattle Seahawks
1999Kevin Carter17St. Louis Rams
2000La\’Roi Glover17New Orleans Saints
2001Michael Strahan22.5New York Giants
2002Jason Taylor18.5Miami Dolphins
2003Michael Strahan18.5New York Giants
2004Dwight Freeney16Indianapolis Colts
2005Derrick Burgess16Oakland Raiders
2006Shawne Merriman17San Diego Chargers
2007Jared Allen15.5Kansas City Chiefs
2008DeMarcus Ware20Dallas Cowboys
2009Elvis Dumervil17Denver Broncos
2010DeMarcus Ware15.5Dallas Cowboys
2011Jared Allen22Minnesota Vikings
2012J.J. Watt20.5Houston Texans