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
|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|