Worthiest candidate for the 2019 HOF senior committee (Round 4)? It’s Jacoby

Joe Jacoby (66) photo courtesy of Washington Redskins

Former Washington Redskins offensive tackle Joe Jacoby was a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame each of the last three years but was passed over and his candidacy now resides in the senior pool.

According to the latest Talk of Fame Network poll, Jacoby deserves a fourth chance as a finalist. We gave asked our listeners and readers a slate of deserving candidates last week in the fourth installment of our senior series and asked which player would be most worthy of the one nomination for the Class of 2019.

Jacoby won in much the same way his Redskins won their final Super Bowl in 1992 – in a romp. Jacoby received 80.4 percent of the vote to easily outdistance the other nine candidates, who included a pair of past NFL MVPs (John Brodie and Larry Brown) and a member of the NFL’s 75th anniversary team (Billy “White Shoes” Johnson). No other candidate received double-digit support with former 49ers running back Roger Craig a very distant second at 4.2 percent of the votes cast.

Jacoby joins Steelers linebacker Andy Russell, Rams quarterback Roman Gabriel and Eagles linebacker Maxie Baughan as winners in this series of senior polls. A fifth and final seniors poll featuring players from the pre-1950 era of football will be posted this week.

An undrafted college free agent, Jacoby became a walk-in starter at left tackle and became a fixture on one of the most recognizable offensive lines in NFL history, the Hogs of the Washington Redskins. A member of the 1980s NFL all-decade team, Jacoby’s blocking helped the Redskins win three Super Bowls. He played left tackle in the first two and right tackle in the third and final Super Bowl in 1992.

The counter trey was the signature play of the Joe Gibbs’ championship era and Jacoby was a key element, pulling from his left tackle position to make a lead block on the right side of the line.

“The purpose of these polls has been to show the public just how difficult the senior selection process is,” said Talk of Fame Network host Rick Gosselin. “Every team has 2-3-4 players it believes have not received a fair shake in the Hall of Fame selection process. The Redskins had two of them in this particular poll, Jacoby and Larry Brown. Thus far we’ve given you 40 names of candidates worthy of discussion. And the committee gets to nominate just one for the Class of 2019. It’s an impossible task.”

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1 Comment

  1. Rasputin
    July 18, 2018

    Actually, blind fan campaigns that hopelessly skew unscientific polls like this aside, I think most informed people seem to agree on a top tier of several candidates, call it a top 10, with good consistency. None of these “winners” so far are reliably on such lists except Baughan.

    They almost all include Chuck Howley and Johnny Robinson, and many include Randy Gradishar, Ken Anderson, Al Wistert, and Cliff Harris. Some include Cliff Branch, Jim Tyrer, and Drew Pearson. Several others appear on some people’s lists. None of them include Roman Gabriel outside of the fan activist campaign on his behalf, and only rarely do they include Jacoby. I’ve never seen one include Andy Russell. Even Steelers fans don’t prioritize him over someone like L.C. Greenwood.

    If the point of these polls was to justify bad choices by the senior committee then I think they fail in accomplishing that. These poll results aren’t rational nor do they even accurately reflect fan sentiment. We actually do expect you to make rationally defensible decisions. Jerry Kramer – fine. Claude Humphrey and Dave Robinson? Terrible. Shouldn’t have gotten in ahead of other, more deserving candidates, especially older ones who are still alive. Too many nominations like that over the years make it look like backroom politics is at play.

    Focus less on excuse making and more on transparently ranking these players with cogent arguments justifying your decisions. Unless this is part of a broader attempt to encourage the expanded 100th anniversary senior class idea, which I fully support. That would make this more understandable but you sounded pessimistic about the chances of that and simply being able to rank candidates doesn’t reduce the need for an expanded class to clear up the large backlog anyway.

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