Joe Jacoby Denied AGAIN

Chris Russell

I've met Joe Jacoby a few times. We once rode an elevator together. It was hot. Two big guys. It was uncomfortable to be honest. We exchanged pleasantries and that was it. We've bumped into each other at various Redskins related events over the years as well.

Which is to say, I hardly know him. He's a huge hulking figure. He's also a Hall of Famer

Only for some reason he's not. I don't quite get it. I never watched him live but I did on television before I knew what offensive line play was really all about. 

I know this however. You can't do what Joe Jacoby did and be left out of Canton time after time. As my pal Ed Sheahin, a sports photo journalist, pointed out. 

From the Hall of Fame press release: There was only one category that Jacoby would have fit in and this is the list that made it. 

  • Harold Carmichael, WR – 1971-1983 Philadelphia Eagles, 1984 Dallas Cowboys
  • Jim Covert, T – 1983-1990 Chicago Bears
  • *Bobby Dillon, S – 1952-59 Green Bay Packers
  • Cliff Harris, S – 1970-79 Dallas Cowboys
  • *Winston Hill, T – 1963-1976 New York Jets, 1977 Los Angeles Rams
  • *Alex Karras, DT – 1958-1962, 1964-1970 Detroit Lions
  • Donnie Shell, S – 1974-1987 Pittsburgh Steelers
  • *Duke Slater, T – 1922 Milwaukee Badgers, 1922-25 Rock Island Independents,1926-1931 Chicago Cardinals
  • *Mac Speedie, E – 1946-1952 Cleveland Browns [AAFC/NFL]
  • *Ed Sprinkle, DE/LB/E – 1944-1955 Chicago Bears

I gotta be honest - I can't sit here and compare and contrast these names to Jacoby. I am sure they are all deserving, but so is Jacoby. 

I asked a member of the centennial Hall of Fame committee,'s Gary Myers for his thoughts on why Jacoby did not make it. 

"Joe was a finalist in recent years and there seemed to be momentum building for him to be selected. When he didn't make it as a modern era candidate, he went into the senior pool, where there is an overwhelming number of qualified candidates," Myers said. 

"I covered a lot of Cowboys-Redskins game in the 1980s and Jacoby was a dominant player on the 'Hogs' offensive line but it seems he's been overshadowed somewhat by Russ Grimm, who is already in the Hall of Fame."

It's hard not to compare Jacoby further to someone who didn't play for his team, but did play in the same era and the same position. That's Jim Covert, who was selected. 

As Myers further explained: "Jacoby was not among the 20 senior finalists this year, so we never debated his credentials vs. Covert. If they were both on the ballot in the final 20, I would have voted for Jacoby."

Covert played in 111 games over eight seasons. He was a hall of fame finalist for the first time and in his 25th year of eligibility. 

Here's more on Covert via the HOF: Earned starting left tackle position first season and made instant impact to earn All-Rookie recognition … Anchored offensive line that helped Bears capture six division titles in seven-year span … Team leader that helped Chicago win 10 or more games in a season six times … Veteran leader for strong rushing attack as Bears led NFL in rushing four straight seasons, 1983-86 … Also NFC’s top rushing team, 1989 … Helped team lead NFC in points scored during Bears’ magical 1985 season highlighted by a 15-1 regular-season record and dominating 46-10 victory over New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX … Paved the way for a 1,000-yard rusher every season of career but one … Battled through numerous injuries to start 110 games … Started at left tackle in three NFC championship games and one Super Bowl … Named Offensive Lineman of the Year, 1986 … First-Team All-Pro twice (1985, 1986) … Second-Team All-Pro, 1987 … All-NFC three times. Voted to two Pro Bowls (1986, 1987). Named to NFL’s All-Decade Team of 1980s.

Others that did not get in were Drew Pearson, Roger Craig and Cliff Branch, leading Myers to say "this in no way means Jacoby will not one day be in the Hall of Fame."

Chris Russell is the Publisher of Maven & Sports Illustrated's Washington Redskins channel. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621.