Deacon Jones led NFL in sacks a record five times

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Officially, the NFL says no player has ever led the league in quarterback sacks more than once. But we now know that Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones led the NFL in sacks five times.

Thanks to pre-1982 sack totals being published by Pro Football Reference, we now know who had the most sacks in the NFL (and AFL) in every season since 1960.

Jones, incredibly, led the NFL in sacks in 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968 and 1969. (He finished third in the NFL in sacks in 1966.) No player has ever had that kind of sustained run as the NFL’s best pass rusher.

Twelve players have led the league in sacks twice: Ed Husmann, Jim Katcavage, Al Baker, Larry Eisenhauer, Jack Youngblood, Mark Gastineau, Reggie White, Kevin Greene, Michael Strahan, DeMarcus Ware, Jared Allen and J.J. Watt. But only Jones has done it more than twice.

25 responses to “Deacon Jones led NFL in sacks a record five times

  1. Can someone explain to me how Gino Marchetti is not acknowledged if you’re opening this up to pre ’82 ?

  2. John Morris says:
    July 13, 2021 at 1:48 pm
    Can someone explain to me how Gino Marchetti is not acknowledged if you’re opening this up to pre ’82 ?

    ______________________

    Footage, boxscores and records probably don’t go back to the 50’s I’d assume. Getting info from a game in 1965 is a lot easier than 10-15 years earlier.

    I’m assuming.

  3. Three different times he was in the top ten all time for sacks per season. One of the best defensive players of all time.

  4. No One put the fear and terror on NFL QBs like Deacon Jones. I also believe it was Deacon who first used the word “sack” to describe taking down the QB.

  5. Deacon Jones was something else rushing the passer. For those who haven’t sat down and watched some of those games from that era, do yourself a favor and check it out.

  6. Yeah but if Reggie was playing in the 60’s, he’d have epic Wilt Chamberlain-type stats

  7. John Morris says:
    July 13, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Can someone explain to me how Gino Marchetti is not acknowledged if you’re opening this up to pre ’82 ?

    ———————————————————————————–

    The project was only able to go back to 1960, so there’s still a lot of history we just don’t know because the records weren’t kept.

  8. rfkimball says:
    July 13, 2021 at 2:31 pm
    No One put the fear and terror on NFL QBs like Deacon Jones. I also believe it was Deacon who first used the word “sack” to describe taking down the QB.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    You are correct, Jones was the one who coined the term “sack”.

    I wish the actual number of sacks in his leading seasons were reported here. Do the updated statistics give him any season or career records?

  9. Jones was my favorite player growing up. Of course they had an incredible DL – The Fearsome Foursome – Jones, Merlin Olsen, Rosey Grier, and the very underrated 6’7″ Lamar Lundy…

  10. No dispute that he is a top 5 pass rusher of all time — in any era — and with no disrespect to his achievements but do keep in mind the head slap was legal in his era. If Reggie White had been allowed to head slap he very literally could have killed someone on the field. DLs of Deacon’s era had a lot more latitude in how they shed blockers than defenders today do.

  11. Werem’t you allowed to use your forearm as a swinging club to the side of the head back then?

  12. Deacon was a member of The Fearsome Foursome. Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, Rosey Grier, Lamar Lundy. I still think they double teamed Deacon, but I’d be lying if I said I remember. And offensive linemen couldn’t hold like they encourage them to do today. So it’s a little different today, but Deacon was still the GOAT.

  13. Deacon Jones put fear in QB`s! Although He was`nt a D-lineman Dick Butkus put fear in their hearts too!!!

  14. contaminatedthrillz says:
    July 13, 2021 at 4:14 pm
    Deacon Jones put fear in QB`s! Although He was`nt a D-lineman Dick Butkus put fear in their hearts too!!!

    ———-

    Butkus put the fear in everybody…. He was a nasty, nasty man. In fact, given the “rules”, he probably wouldn’t even be allowed to play today

  15. They also banned his famous “Head slap” maneuver in 76′. Turns out people don’t block too well when their heads are ringing.

  16. Jones played in an era with less passing, so had fewer opportunities than White/Smith/Peppers/Greene etc.

    This unofficial information also would erase the shameful and bogus Favre Dive sack that gave Strahan the season record and recognize properly the 23 sack season of Al “Bubba” Baker

    —-IN HIS ROOKIE SEASON—

    as the record.

  17. The Minnesota Vikings had 5 players in the top 20 in sack total list.And Jim Marshall was just outside it at #22 with 130 sacks.

  18. NFL all-time sack leaders
    Bruce Smith – 200.
    Reggie White – 198.
    Deacon Jones – 173.5.
    Kevin Greene – 160.
    Julius Peppers – 159.5.
    Jack Youngblood – 151.5.
    Chris Doleman – 150.5.
    Alan Page – 148.5.

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