Stop and compare Deacon Jones’ records in the NFL compared to other sports. Baseball is a sport that is famous for the volume of statistics they keep. MLB has stats that can tell you how many times a batter hit a fast ball foul, or a slider for a home run. How he hits against lefties, righties, or on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd pitch. How many times a pitcher pitches a fast ball for his first pitch. How many times a batter swings at the first pitch, how many times a player spits during a game. The list is endless.
You rarely hear of any other sport, other than the NFL, qualify a particular record by saying it’s the best “since” a certain year. The NFL does this with sacks because they only “officially” started keeping track of them in 1982. The leading shot-blocker of all time in basketball isn’t “since” a certain year. No, the record is since the beginning of NBA basketball. The highest scorer in hockey is based on the entire history of the NHL.
It seems as though most stats in the NFL come from other sites like Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus.com, and such. I realize that these sites gather their information from the NFL, but they nonetheless remain “unofficial” stats. It is long past due for the NFL to count Deacon Jones’ sacks and make it the official NFL sack record. It’s a shame that Goodell can’t find someone to go through the tapes and count all of the late great Deacon Jones’ sacks to establish a true NFL sack record. They keep just about every other stat in the NFL, but for some reason they seem unwilling to just include the sacks tallied before 1982.
I bring this up as DeMarcus Ware is closing in on the all time sack leader for the Dallas Cowboys. He will pass Harvey Martin within the first few weeks of the 2013 season, but the passing of Harvey Martins’ record is possible because the Dallas Cowboys kept records of Martin’s sacks even before 1982. If the Cowboys can calculate Martins’ pre-1982 sacks, surely the NFL can do the same for Deacon Jones and other players of that era.
Currently the late great Harvey Martin is the all time sack leader for the Dallas Cowboys, but not for long, as Ware, after racking up a 100 sacks in the 2nd fewest games of all time, is about to shatter it to smithereens. The talent of D-Ware has not gone unnoticed, and I would like to see the NFL count Deacon Jones’ sacks so we can find out if D-Ware will become the all time NFL sack leader when his career finally comes to an end. He’s not the only one either; there are some young up and coming stars that play defensive end or tackle that could come close. But until the NFL gets it right, and counts all of Jones’ sacks it won’t matter.
I say it’s way past time to put an end to the nonsense of every time sacks are talked about it comes comes out as: “since 1982”. It’s quite ridiculous that something can have so much bearing on a game and change the momentum for a team isn’t kept as an official record for all of football history. Remember Bob Lilly’s 29 yard sack against the Dolphins in SB VI? You know another funny thing is: although it’s known to be the longest sack in SB history, the NFL can’t say it’s the longest sack in NFL history.
From the 2013 season forward, the player with the most sacks during the regular season will be awarded the Deacon Jones award. Finding out how many sacks Deacon had can’t be that hard because all of his games have tape to them. Let’s at least know what the real record is. NFL it’s way past due, and if nothing else, Deacon Jones and every winner of his award deserves it.