Biggest Hall-of-Fame omission? It’s Joe Jacoby


Joe Jacoby photo curtesy of Washington Redskins

There were seven all-decade performers passed over in the election of the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame’s Class of 2017.

But the most glaring omission wasn’t wide receiver Terrell Owens. It was Washington offensive tackle Joe Jacoby and by a wide margin, according to voters in the Talk of Fame Network’s weekly poll.

Included on the slate of candidates were first-team all-decade selections Tony Boselli, Alan Faneca, Kevin Mawae and Brian Dawkins and second-team all-decade selections Jacoby, Ty Law and Owens. Jacoby received an overwhelming 65 percent of the vote, followed by Dawkins at 9.7 percent, Law at 9.5 percent and Owens at 8.6 percent.

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue also was on the slate but — like Boselli, Faneca and Mawae — he received scant support.

Jacoby was a four-time Pro Bowler and a member of the all-decade team of the 1980s. An undrafted free agent, he became a starter as a rookie and played 13 seasons with the Redskins, winning three Super Bowls. He played left tackle during the golden age of pass rushers, having to block Hall-of-Famers Lawrence Taylor, Fred Dean, Richard Dent, Chris Doleman, Charles Haley, Dan Hampton, Howie Long, Lee Roy Selmon and Bruce Smith.

Jacoby was a two-time first-team All-Pro.

Dawkins went to nine Pro Bowls and made plays on both sides of the line of scrimmage, sacking 26 quarterbacks and intercepting 37 of their passes. Law led the NFL in interceptions twice, picking off nine passes for the Patriots in 1998 and 10 for the Jets in 2005. His 53 career interceptions tie Deion Sanders on the all-time list.

Jacoby will enter his 20th and final season of eligibility as a modern-era candidate in 2018. Boselli enters his 11th year of eligibility in 2018, Law his fourth year, Faneca and Owens their third year and Dawkins, and Mawae their second years.

The Talk of Fame Network hosts, predictably, split on their vote, with Borges casting his ballot for Law and both Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge for Jacoby.

“Law has nearly identical career stats with Deion Sanders and Champ Bailey, except slightly better than both and starkly better when it comes to his ring collection,” Borges said. “He is deserving of enshrinement.”

Both Gosselin and Judge went Jacoby for the same reason – the clock is now ticking on a Hall-of-Fame-caliber career.

“I feel for Jacoby,” Judge said. “To me, he is qualified. What’s more, he has only one more year as a modern-era candidate before he goes into the senior pool and then … good luck. You have an easier time getting out of Mosul than getting into the Hall as a senior candidate. To me, this was his last, best opportunity to reach Canton. And he missed.”

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7 Comments

  1. Joseph Wright
    February 22, 2017
    Reply

    Joe Jacoby deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Should have been inducted long ago. He was to Russ Grimm what Art Shell was to Gene Upshaw.

    • February 22, 2017
      Reply

      Exact same comparison was made within room, but voters apparently didnt agree. Or at least thought there were others who were more deserving.

      • Martin Sexton
        February 22, 2017
        Reply

        “Others more deserving” is at the heart of the debate the committee faces every year. How do you decide which player is more “deserving” than another? It can’t be based on just statistics. If it were, we wouldn’t have to listen to TO complain because he would have made it. Does selection as an All-Decade member carry any weight anymore? Jacoby would think apparently not. Pro Bowls?? These seem to mean less and less every year. If enough of the “stars” decide not to play, you start getting players making multiple Pro Bowls by the grace of the people in front of them making career decisions about risk and reward. Longevity?? With the induction of Terrell Davis, it proves that production can trump not having a 10 year career. How do you decide?? It almost makes one wonder how they come to a consensus at all. Tough job.

        • February 22, 2017
          Reply

          All of that factors in. So, too, as everyone knows now, does being a good teammate. Its a big picture, and if it were just stats we could hire an accounting firm. But this isnt the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame, and that is lost on people. All of this is taken into account. There were seven all-decade choices left out, and four of them were first-team all-decade. T.O. was not one of them. Longevity used to be a measuring stick, but the elections of Easley and, especially, Davis seem to have broken new ground there. Gives hope to someone like Boselli. Pro Bowls were meaningful when they meant something. Not anymore. Now everyone goes because no one goes, if you know what I mean. There are so many guys who pass that one year David Garrard was a Pro Bowl QB. Reason: Everyone else passed. So, yes, all of it factors in, as well as the eye test and what coaches, teammates, GMs and scouts had to say about the candidate. It is not easy, and, guaranteed, no matter whom we choose, not all will be satisfied. We are always told we chose the wrong ones. Way it goes.

          • Martin Sexton
            February 23, 2017

            Thanks for the insight into the process, Gentlemen. I, for one, am glad that decisions are not based solely on statistics because they NEVER tell the whole story. A few years ago, NFL.com ran a story on their take on an all time undrafted team. The WR’s on that team were Wes Welker and Drew Pearson. Many people complained about Rod Smith being left off the list. I had no problem with the objection as Rod Smith had an extremely productive career. Eventually, however it became a debate about Rod Smith’s numbers vs Drew Pearson’s. As has been discussed in other articles, it’s is hard to make those comparisons because of different rules, more emphasis on the run and less on the pass, ad Infinitum. Because of that, it makes sense you would use input from knowledgeable sources. For example, how much weight would the recommendation of another HOF player carry in your deliberations? Say, if a player like Lawrence Taylor extolled the virtue of a Joe Jacoby? Just as a hypothetical.

        • February 22, 2017
          Reply

          In my case you talk to a lot of opposing coaches who game planned vs. these guys and opposing players who faced them. They tend to give the clearest picture of what a player was in his prime. Takes some research but it’s worth it.

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