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NY Jets: Remembering each member of the New York Sack Exchange

NY Jets, Joe Klecko, Marty Lyons, Abdul Salaam, Mark Gastineau
NY Jets, Joe Klecko, Marty Lyons, Abdul Salaam, Mark Gastineau / Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images
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NY Jets, Mark Gastineau
NY Jets, Mark Gastineau / Focus On Sport/Getty Images

Mark Gastineau, DE, NY Jets

Mark Gastineau played for the Jets from 1979 to 1988 and was one of the quickest and most feared pass rushers in the NFL.

With Lyons and Salaam, the main objective was to stop the run, but with Gastineau, the goal was clearly to get to the quarterback. NFL Network even rated Gastineau as one of the top ten pass rushers of all time.

Gastineau started his college career at Eastern Arizona Junior College and then he spent one season at Arizona State before settling in at Eastern Central Oklahoma State. Gastineau became ECO's first-ever draft pick when the Jets selected him in the second round of the 1979 NFL Draft.

Gastineau was originally projected as an eighth-round draft pick but on the recommendation of Connie Carberg, who was the league's first female scout, the Jets decided to select him with their second-round pick.

Mark Gastineau would go on to have an illustrious career with the green and white. He made the Pro Bowl in five consecutive seasons from 1981 to 1985 and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1982. He also led the league in sacks in both 1983 and 1984.

Gastineau set the single-season sack record as well in 1984 with a total of 22. The record stood until 2001 when it was broken by the NY Giants' Michael Strahan. For his career, Gastineau collected 74 official sacks. Unofficially, dating back to the beginning of his career, he actually had 107.

Gastineau retired abruptly seven weeks into the 1988 season and at the time of his retirement, he was the NFL's all-time official sack leader. He was selected to the Jets All-Time Four Decade Team and was inducted into the Jets Ring of Honor in 2012.

Mark Gastineau was famous for creating the "sack dance" which rubbed many players the wrong way, but there's no denying the fact that he was one of the fiercest pass rushers of his generation.

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