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Former Falcons DE John Zook passes away at age 72

“The Zooker” passed away early Saturday morning

Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Zook passed away Saturday morning in Kansas, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. He was 72.

Nicknamed “The Zooker,” John Zook played with the Falcons from 1969-1975 and combined with Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Claude Humphrey to form a dynamic attack. Zook lined up primarily on the right side while Humphrey was on the left. Although the team overall wasn’t very good during that time, having only two winning seasons, the pair thrived together along the defensive line. Both Zook and Humphrey were selected to the 1973 Pro Bowl.

Zook was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Rams with the 99th overall selection in the 1969 NFL Draft. He was then traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, before then being dealt to the Falcons. Zook played 144 games in the NFL and was a Second-team All-Pro selection in 1973. He was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1976 and finished his career there. Zook is also noted as recording the first safety in Falcons history in 1971.

Judging by what former players and coaches have said about him, Zook was a great guy and player who will be greatly missed.

All of us at The Falcoholic express our condolences to John Zook’s family.