A legend of the National Football League, David ‘Deacon’ Jones has died aged 74. Jones was one of the finest defensive end in the game, achieving so much success that it led to recognition by the NFL Hall of Fame, who inducted him upon his retirement from the sport.

Nicknamed the Secretary of Defense, Jones was a two-time NFL defensive player of the year and five-time first-team All-Pro selection. He appeared in eight Pro Bowls during his 14-year NFL career and was also named in the NFL’s 75th Anniversary team. Jones spent 11 years with the Los Angeles Rams before playing two years for the San Diego Chargers, winding up his career with the Washington Redskins in 1974. According to NBC, Redskins coach Bruce Allen issued a statement that said “Deacon Jones was one of the greatest players in NFL history. Off the field, he was a true giant.  His passion and spirit will continue to inspire those who knew him.” He added “He was cherished member of the Allen family and I will always consider him my big brother.”

Jones was a member of the reputed Fearsome Foursome with the Rams, playing alongside Lamar Lundy, Rosey Grier and Merlin Olsen. It was said to have been among the most imposing defensive lines ever put together in the game of gridiron.