National Football League
               === Colts' Mathis wins 1st Deacon Jones Award ===
 New York, NY ( - Indianapolis Colts linebacker Robert Mathis
 was  honored on Thursday  as the first winner of the Deacon Jones Award, which
 the NFL will give annually to the league leader in quarterback sacks.
 Mathis  had  a career-high  19 1/2  sacks for the  AFC South-champion Colts, a
 half-sack more than St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn.
 "Deacon  Jones is the creator of the sack so to be able to win the first award
 in  his honor is an honor," Mathis said in a statement. "I'm very proud that I
 was  able to win it and I thank my teammates, mainly the (defensive line), who
 were  very instrumental  in helping  me get  to the  quarterback. It's  a unit
 award, more so than an individual award."
 Mathis  had  five of his  sacks in December and  was named the AFC's Defensive
 Player of the Month.
 Jones  was a Hall  of Fame defensive end who played most of his 14 NFL seasons
 for the Los Angeles Rams and is credited with coining the term "sack." The NFL
 didn't  begin tracking the stat until 1982, eight years after Jones played his
 last game. Jones died in June at the age of 74.
 01/02 16:58:29 ET