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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 NFL.com. “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

YEAR PLAYER SACKS TEAM
1982 Doug Martin 11.5 Minnesota Vikings
1983 Mark Gastineau 19 New York Jets
1984 Mark Gastineau 22 New York Jets
1985 Richard Dent 17 Chicago Bears
1986 Lawrence Taylor 20.5 New York Giants
1987 Reggie White 21 Philadelphia Eagles
1988 Reggie White 18 Philadelphia Eagles
1989 Chris Doleman 21 Minnesota Vikings
1990 Derrick Thomas 20 Kansas City Chiefs
1991 Pat Swilling 17 New Orleans Saints
1992 Clyde Simmons 19 Philadelphia Eagles
1993 Neil Smith 15 Kansas City Chiefs
1994 Kevin Greene 14 Pittsburgh Steelers
1995 Bryce Paup 17.5 Buffalo Bills
1996 Kevin Greene 14.5 Carolina Panthers
1997 John Randle 15.5 Minnesota Vikings
1998 Michael Sinclair 16.5 Seattle Seahawks
1999 Kevin Carter 17 St. Louis Rams
2000 La\’Roi Glover 17 New Orleans Saints
2001 Michael Strahan 22.5 New York Giants
2002 Jason Taylor 18.5 Miami Dolphins
2003 Michael Strahan 18.5 New York Giants
2004 Dwight Freeney 16 Indianapolis Colts
2005 Derrick Burgess 16 Oakland Raiders
2006 Shawne Merriman 17 San Diego Chargers
2007 Jared Allen 15.5 Kansas City Chiefs
2008 DeMarcus Ware 20 Dallas Cowboys
2009 Elvis Dumervil 17 Denver Broncos
2010 DeMarcus Ware 15.5 Dallas Cowboys
2011 Jared Allen 22 Minnesota Vikings
2012 J.J. Watt 20.5 Houston Texans

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steves

    This new award was needed for years and it has a Great name in “The Deacon Jones Award”. Deacon was a menace for years with the LA Rams and the “Fearsome Foursome”. May he rest in peace.
    Kevin Greene and Greg Lloyd were fearsome themselves with the Steelers “D” in the 90’s.

  • dgh57

    How fitting to name this award after the man who came up with the term “Sack”! Even better that they announced this at his Memorial! He was truly a terror to QBs in his day.

  • dgh57

    I agree with everything! If by chance they got past Greene and Lloyd they still had to deal with Woodson and Lake! We had a awesome defense back then!!

  • 2443scott

    be interesting if goodell would have to hand this award out because deacon was what goodell dont want these types of guys in nfl i could see it every time he give it away the good guys won one over him could you see him giving that award to harrison lol i bet james would of looked at him and goodell would of cringed …..about time for this award i wonder who would of won it the most times if it would been a award all these nfl years..i feel another google help me moment comimg on..

  • joed32

    I wish they could have done it before he died, he would have loved the idea.

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