It’s time for Joe Jacoby to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
After long snubbing three Super Bowl championship teams under coach Joe Gibbs, the selection committee has steadily made up for slighting the Washington Redskins’ great teams. Darrell Green, Russ Grimm and Art Monk are enshrined in Canton. Even 1970s star Chris Hanburger was added.
But the Redskins still have worthy players, including returner Brian Mitchell, receiver Gary Clark and Jacoby, plus running back Larry Brown as a veterans committee choice.
Jacoby should be among the five of 15 finalists on Saturday who don gold jackets along with running back LaDainian Tomlinson, safety John Lynch, quarterback Kurt Warner and kicker Morten Andersen.
Jacoby played left tackle on four Super Bowl teams, including three winners. He was the lead blocker for John Riggins on the winning touchdown in Super Bowl XVII. A large photo of that play was in countless fans’ houses for decades. Jacoby led 15 minutes of perfection that scored 35 points in Super Bowl XXII. He was there for the last grasp of greatness this franchise has known when beating Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVI. The four-time Pro Bowler made the 1980s All-Decade team alongside Grimm and should now be alongside the latter in Canton.
It’s not the hall of very good. You have to be a dominant player for many years, which is why Brown and other top players’ shorter careers don’t quite make it. Jacoby was one of the best in the game over his 13 seasons that saw Washington reach eight postseasons. He was even a good interior lineman in the final years of a career that began by not even being drafted and unwanted by the coach.
There’s not a better option among offensive line finalists Tony Boselli, Alan Faneca and Kevin Mawae. Choosing one over Jacoby would be a flat-out joke. That selectors chose Orlando Pace over Jacoby last year was suspect, though Pace certainly deserved the honor.
Maybe Jacoby’s reserved persona on a team overflowing with personalities has caused him to be overlooked. Aside a bad TV commercial, Jacoby wasn’t seen much by fans and media. Linemates Jeff Bostic and George Starke tended to grab any spotlight slipping past a locker room filled with stars. With Joe Theismann, Dexter Manley, Charles Mann, Dave Butz, Doug Williams, Monk, Clark, Green leading Washington over the years, there wasn’t much press left for The Hogs as individuals. They were a collective group and Jacoby didn’t seek any attention.
Aside obvious first-year candidates, it takes years of educating voters over a player’s worthiness. Jacoby has been on the brink of selection the last two years. Maybe now he’ll finally be honored because anything else is a joke.
Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter @Snide_Remarks.