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Origin of the term 'sack'

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Idgit, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Idgit

    Idgit That sounds really boring Staff Member

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    And it has a Dallas Cowboys connection, of course. According to Marv Levy...

    Apparently, it goes back to a time when salt was mainly carried around in big burlap sacks. He was a clever one, that George Allen.
  2. KJJ

    KJJ You Have an Axe to Grind

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    I remember hearing something about pouring Morton salt into a sack as being the inspiration for the term sacking the QB but the comment was credited to Deacon Jones. Deacon may have even given himself credit for that comment. I remember years ago on NFL Films hearing him talk about it.
  3. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and brew... Staff Member

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    I had also heard Deacon Jones came up with that word (sack).
  4. Lonestar94

    Lonestar94 Well-Known Member

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    Everyone knows that Deacon Jones created the word sack. He would put all the offensive lineman in a sack and beat it with a baseball bat.
  5. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    The Deacon said that tackling a QB was like tying them up in a big ole sack.
  6. Phoenix

    Phoenix Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I heard also it was Deacon Jones.

    And I believe Tom Landry used to call them "Quarterback traps".
  7. WPBCowboysFan

    WPBCowboysFan Well-Known Member

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    Deacon Jones is the one that is credited with coining the term "sack" for what had previously been called "dumping the passer." Apparently Deacon thought a term such as "dump" didnt do justice to getting to the QB so he preferred "sack" and it was equating the football play with what the barbarians used to do when they would "sack" civilized city after city.

    George Allen was with the Rams in the 60's.

  8. Zimmy Lives

    Zimmy Lives Well-Known Member

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    DJ was a special player and I am fortunate to have been able to watch him play.
  9. Idgit

    Idgit That sounds really boring Staff Member

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    Levy isn't saying Deacon didn't popularize the term, only that it came originally from a reference George Allen had made in a team meeting.

    The story was new to me, but I guess several of you guys had heard it already. I kind of think the backstory is less interesting than some of my guesses as to where it came from.

    I always think of the British term for getting rid of someone. Ie, "We apologise again for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked." I know that's obviously not where the term came from, but it's what I think about when I hear 'Tony Romo has been sacked.' :)
  10. 03EBZ06

    03EBZ06 Need2Speed

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    Everybody knows the word "sack" was coined by prince of Scotland in 1296 when he said "William Wallace sacked York". ;)
  11. pancakeman

    pancakeman Well-Known Member

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    A M00se once bit my sister.

    I think of the word relating to phrases like the Sack of Rome http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sack_of_Rome_(410) -- a devastating attack in your own home territory (behind the line of scrimmage) to your capital (quarterback) often bringing the empire (drive) to an end.
  12. Idgit

    Idgit That sounds really boring Staff Member

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    Lol. If the Moose was was Daryl Johnson, your sister might have a decent lawsuit on her hands.
  13. Phoenix

    Phoenix Well-Known Member

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    Or was it Monty Python..."those who sacked the sackers have just now themselves been sacked."
  14. john van brocklin

    john van brocklin Captain Comeback

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    This is how I recall it going down as well.
  15. KJJ

    KJJ You Have an Axe to Grind

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    Did a google for who coined the term "QB sack" and every link I saw except for the one posted here gave the credit to Deacon Jones. I clearly remember Steve Sabol interviewing Deacon many years ago and asking him how he came up with the word "sack" for taking down the QB. He said it started when the Rams were going to play the Cowboys and he said either to the media or some of his teammates the day before the game that he was going to pour Morton salt into a sack. In the article posted Levy is giving basically the same story but giving the credit for the comment to George Allen.

    It makes a lot more sense for a player to make that comment than a coach especially a vocal player like Deacon Jones who never hid his hatred for QB's. It sounded like something Deacon would say. I'm thinking Deacon made the comment and George Allen heard it or heard about it and relayed it. If Allen came up with it Deacon would have never taken credit for making the comment and he wouldn't have been given credit for it all these years. Odd how this story comes out just over a week after Deacon dies. Why didn't Levy relay this story while Deacon was alive? :cool:
  16. DallasCowpoke

    DallasCowpoke Fierce Allegiance

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    Annnnd once again, Marv Levy comes up wide "WRONG"!
  17. dwmyers

    dwmyers Well-Known Member

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    As does Bob Lilly.
  18. WPBCowboysFan

    WPBCowboysFan Well-Known Member

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    Marv Levy could be wrong, but maybe not entirely. I already posted a link that explains how Deacon Jones got credit for it and how he came up with the term "sack."

    Here it is again:


    The whole George Allen thing may have some truth to it. George Allen may have used that term in practice or meetings and Deacon ran with it publically. Who knows for sure except those guys. My guess would be that George Allen is more likely to use the term "sack" as it related to barbarians "sacking" cities. Deacon may have known that from history, but I would bet on George Allen being way more familiar with the concept. Marv Levy may well be right about George Allen and the term - even tho Deacon gets credit for it.
  19. Manwiththeplan

    Manwiththeplan Well-Known Member

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    I always assumed it came from the this as well, as in a city being sacked (conquered)
  20. Kristen82

    Kristen82 Benched

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    I always thought that it came from if the QB is taken down, it's a big blow to the team - like getting hit in the nuts.

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