Former Defensive End John Zook Passes Away
Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Zook died of cancer at the age of 72 this week in Kansas.
Zook played out a 12-year career in the NFL, most of which with the Atlanta Falcons. He was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in 1969 and then was traded to Atlanta, where he started 97 out of 98 games. Zook was one of the team’s best players, and he made the Pro Bowl once in 1973. After his reign in Atlanta, he finished his career playing for the St. Louis Cardinals.
John Zook formed a fierce partnership with fellow defensive end Claude Humphrey. Humphrey and Zook formed a dynamic duo for the Atlanta Falcons that opposing teams would fear. While the Falcons struggled during John Zook’s time with them, he was a bright spot on their roster.
Before the NFL, Zook played at the Univerity of Kansas, where he was a team captain and one of the best defensive ends in the Conference. Zook is one of only 23 players in Kansas’s “Football Ring of Honor”, and in 2007 he was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
John Zook, known as “The Zookster” to his teammates was well-loved, and he will be greatly missed in the football community.
Avi Paulson is a student at the College Preparatory School. He lives in the Bay Area, and is an avid viewer of baseball. He plays various sports, and is a writer for At the Buzzer.