Who Should be in the NFL Hall of Fame Series – Offensive Tackle’s

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Who Should be in the NFL Hall of Fame Series Offensive Tackle’s.

Jimbo Covert offensive tackle

Earlier this offseason, CowGirlCas and I posted our opinions and reasoning for who should next be enshrined in the Dallas Cowboys’ Ring of Honor. This was in our He Said (Darren Woodson); She Said (Harvey Martin) series. Afterwards, we had a lively discussion on which Cowboys players should be in the NFL Hall of Fame.

That got me thinking. While that in itself is a dangerous thing, I was interested in looking at which players, by position, were the most deserving of getting a call from the Hall of Fame throughout the league. Over the next few days, we will do this by looking at the players I believe are the top 5 players who are not currently Hall of Famers at each position. This is not a ranking, but rather an alphabetical listing of my 5 offensive tackle’s. For reference, the player must be eligible for the Hall of Fame. Here is the order of our journey through some of the NFL’s all-time greats.

Today we will take a look at the tackles that protected their quarterbacks and opened holes for their ball carriers. Some of them were classic blindside protectors that were effective one-on-one against the league’s premier pass rushers. Others were primarily road-grading bulldozers that opened holes for 1000 yard rushers. All of them were key to helping the skill position players around them prosper. Whether it was with finesse or power, these five tackles distinguished themselves as the best at their position when they played and deserve further consideration for induction into the NFL Hall of Fame.

Tony Boselli Tackle Tony Boselli

Case for the Hall of Fame:

3-time All-Pro; Voted member of National Football League 1990’s All-Decade Team; 1998 Offensive Lineman of the Year; Tony Boselli was drafted #2 overall in 1995 by the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars. By starting 90 of his 91 games with the Jaguars, he was able to live up to his draft status in the league and as the franchise’s 1st ever pick. In reflection of his greatness and the quality of Jacksonville’s front office, the franchise’s 1st ever pick also became the first ever player inducted into the team’s hall of fame (Pride of the Jaguars). Boselli was such a great tackle because he was dominant as both a pass blocker and a run blocker for his entire career in Jacksonville. He is the only 1st team offensive member of the 1990’s All-Decade that has not already been enshrined in Canton

Reasons he isn’t in the Hall of Fame:

Tony Boselli’s career at tackle was played in one of the NFL’s smallest markets. Even when his Jaguars were having good seasons, they were routinely overshadowed by their rivals in Tennessee (Titans) and Baltimore (Ravens). Boselli’s candidacy is also hurt by the fact that his career was cut short by injuries after only 7 seasons. That fact alone has continued to keep the hall of fame voters from moving Boselli further in the process.

Jim Covert Tackle Jim Covert

Case for the Hall of Fame:

4-time All-Pro; Voted member of the National Football League 1980’s All-Decade Team; 1986 NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year; 1985 NFC Offensive Lineman of the Year; Jimbo Covert was drafted #6 overall in 1983 by the Chicago Bears after 2 years of All-America tackle play at Pitt. His impact on the team’s offense was immediate. In 1982, the year prior to his arrival, the Bears offense was ranked a lowly 26th out of 28 teams. In 1983, the team’s offense rose to the 6th best in the NFL. His teammates recognized his impact, electing him a team captain in only his 2nd year. His arrival began a string of 7 straight years where the Bears were top 3 in the league in rushing.

Reasons he isn’t in the Hall of Fame:

Jimbo Covert’s arrival in Chicago coincided with an amazing increase in offensive productivity for his Bears. One reason he may not be given the amount of credit that might normally come his way is that he was blocking for one of the best running backs in NFL history; Walter Payton. That is where most of the credit goes for the Bears rushing success, and rightly so. Covert’s candidacy is also hurt by the fact that his career was cut short by injuries after only 8 seasons. That fact alone has continued to keep the hall of fame voters from moving Covert further in the process.

Joe Jacoby Tackle Joe Jacoby

Case for the Hall of Fame:

3-time All-Pro; Voted member of National Football League 1980’s All-Decade Team; 3-time super bowl champion; Joe Jacoby pulled himself up from being an undrafted free agent tackle for Washington to being a founding member of one of the best offensive lines in the history of the league. Jacoby and the “Hogs” were the constant for Joe Gibbs as they blocked for 3 different Super Bowl quarterbacks in D.C. The Hogs led Washington to break the Super Bowl rushing record not once, but twice; in both the 1982 and 1987 seasons.

Reasons he isn’t in the Hall of Fame:

Joe Jacoby, and the rest of the Hogs, played in the shadow of Hall of Famer Russ Grimm. This and the fact that much of the Hogs success has been attribute to their Offensive Line coach, Joe Bugel, has hurt Jacoby’s candidacy. There seems to be a feeling among the voters that, other than Grimm, the Hogs were simply good players that played great together. This sentiment has hurt the chances of the great Hogs tackle.

Jim TyrerTackle Jim Tyrer

Case for the Hall of Fame:

8-time All-AFL; Voted member of  American Football League All-Time Team; 3-time AFL champion; 1969 Super Bowl champion: 1969 AFL Offensive Lineman of the year. Jim Tyrer was a consistently dominant tackle for one of the most successful AFL franchises: the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs. Tyrer  set the standard for tackle play in the late 60’s and early 70’s and is the most highly decorated offensive lineman in AFL history. That includes the Chargers Ron Mix, who is already enshrined in Canton. He was a member of the AFC’s pro bowl team in the first two years after the AFL-NFL merger.

Reasons he isn’t in the Hall of Fame:

Jim Tyrer played the majority of his distinguished career in the AFL and suffers the same fate as many of his AFL contemporaries. Many writers still buy into the propaganda that the AFL was an inferior league of inferior players an coaches even more than 40 years after Tyrer’s Chiefs dismantled the Minnesota Vikings in the final AFL-NFL matchup. However, Tyrer’s candidacy is also negatively impacted by the circumstances surrounding his death. He was involved in a murder-suicide in which he killed his wife then himself.

Richmond WebbTackle Richmond Webb

Case for the Hall of Fame:

4-time ALL-Pro; Voted member of  National Football League 1990’s All-Decade Team; Richmond Webb was so good that he was entrusted to protect the blindside of Hall of Famer Dan Marino. Webb’s dominance can be seen in his efforts against one of the best pass rushers in NFL history. In 14 games over seven seasons, Webb only allowed 3.5 sacks to the legendary Smith. The Dallas native fully lived up to his 9th overall draft pick status and is now enshrined in the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll.

Reasons he isn’t in the Hall of Fame:

Richmond Webb played the majority of his distinguished career as the left tackle for a pass-happy Dolphins team. That team was known for finesse and not toughness. While watching him personally, I never saw any reason to question Webb’s toughness but a “soft” reputation begin to stick to him among the sports writers. He seems to suffer from the Dolphins inability (read: unwillingness) to run the football while Marino was under center. He is also hurt by the lasting memory of his final two injury-riddled seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.

These are my five most worthy for induction. I’m interested in your opinion on where I got it right and who I may have missed. You can add your comments or suggestions below.

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  • Erik Williams should be on this list!

    • Big Harb

      I love Big E. The problem is that the people who vote have allowed the offensive linemen to be underrepresented for so long that there is a backlog of worthy candidates. My challenge is to find the top five that they have missed. That doesn’t mean there aren’t more than 5 worthy candidates. I also think Jerry Jones has to realize that no matter how the voters try to talk around it, they do use not being in the team’s own hall of fame (Ring of Honor) against some really good candidates (Like Harvey Martin). He needs to rectify this if we want to see progress on some of our favorite Cowboys entering Canton.