New York, NY (Sports Network) - The NFL announced on Monday the creation of the "Deacon Jones Award", which will be awarded annually to the player who finishes with the most sacks in the NFL.
Considered one of the top defensive players of all-time, Deacon Jones spent his first 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and tallied a team-best 159 1/2 sacks with the franchise. He appeared in seven consecutive Pro Bowls and eight overall.
The defensive end played his final season in 1974 with the Washington Redskins, concluding a 14-year career. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.
Jones passed away on June 3 at his home in California of natural causes at the age of 74.
"Deacon Jones was an icon among icons," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. "Even with his fellow Hall of Famers, Deacon Jones held a special status. This award will ensure that players, coaches, fans and the media will remember the impact that Deacon had on all of us and know that he represents unique qualities deserving of this kind of honor."
The award will be first distributed at the conclusion of the 2013 season.