July 22, 2020

By the Numbers: A look at sack milestones

Matt Smith/

TORONTO — The list of offensive and defensive linemen nominated for the All-Decade Team presented by LeoVegas was announced earlier this week and it’s full of incredible talent.

The men in the trenches are tough and the list is overflowing with muscle on either side of the ball that have made an impression over the last 10 years.

In this article, we want to focus on some of the d-linemen. From John Bowman to Odell Willis to Charleston Hughes to Willie Jefferson, these men have made an impact in their respective positions. The defensive linemen on this list have become the best at getting around or through their opponent and getting pressure on the quarterback. They’ve also become the best at hitting the QB and recording a sack.


» CFL to honour the best of the last decade
Vote Now: Offensive and defensive linemen
» Full list of nominees at each position
» ADT Voting schedule


This week, takes a look at the sack totals and milestones of a handful of the nominated defensive lineman:

Bowman 134 sacks: With 134 career sacks, John Bowman ranks sixth on the all-time list, just one sack behind Joe Montford in the top-five all-time. Should Bowman decide to return, he would need just six sacks to tie Bobby Jurasin (140) and move into the top three all-time. Bowman is 23 sacks short of Grover Covington for the record.

Hughes 130 sacks: Not far behind Bowman is Charleston Hughes, who ranks eighth on the CFL’s career sacks list with 130. Hughes is 10 sacks away from cracking the top-three all-time, which is more than reasonable considering he has had five straight seasons of 10+ sacks, along with seven of the last eight years.

Willis 12th all-time: Last season, Odell Willis became the third active player and the 12th in league history (since data became available in 1981) to reach 100 career sacks. Willis currently sits at 101, and would need five more sacks to pass Rodney Harding (105) for 11th and 10 sacks to pass Tyrone Jones (110) to move into the top 10.

Pursuit of 100: Shawn Lemon (70) is the next closest player to reaching 100 career sacks. At a career rate of 0.65 sacks per game, Lemon would need to play roughly 46 more games to reach the elusive benchmark, which has become a symbol of not only elite productivity but rare longevity. No player with 100+ sacks has played fewer than 10 seasons.

Sewell 60 sacks: Eskimos long-time defensive tackle Almondo Sewell has 60 career sacks, which leads all active interior defensive linemen.

50+ sacks: Ted Laurent (48), Micah Johnson (45), Willie Jefferson (43), Alex Bazzie (42) and Adam Bighill (41) are within range of the 50+ career sack milestone.