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Favorite Underrated Player Series: Jim Jeffcoat

Discussion in 'History Zone' started by THUMPER, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. THUMPER

    THUMPER Papa

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    In today's installment of my Favorite Underrated (or under-appreciated) Player Series: Jim Jeffcoat, DE 1983-94 (by popular demand)

    According to the official NFL records, Jim Jeffcoat is the Cowboys all-time leader in sacks with 94.5, but the NFL didn't start keeping sack records until 1982 so he ranks tied with Bob Lilly for 6th according to the "unofficial" sack records kept by the Cowboys.

    The Cowboys All-Time Sack Leaders are:
    Harvey Martin - 114
    Randy White - 111
    "Too Tall" Jones - 106
    George Andrie - 97
    Jethro Pugh - 95.5
    Bob Lilly - 94.5
    Jim Jeffcoat - 94.5

    (If anyone has some documented backup/corrections for these I would love to see it, I got most of them from Wikipedia so who knows if it is truly accurate. Plus, I'd love to get numbers for playoff games if someone has those.)

    Jeffcoat was never selected for a Pro-Bowl or named to an All-Pro team, despite double-digit sacks in 5 seasons, but he was an anchor for us at RDE for many years. In many ways, he was the modern version of Jethro Pugh, a great DL who was never given the recognition he deserved even though he put up the numbers.

    If he would have played in a different era he would have been appreciated more by the league but there were a number of great pass rushing DEs in the NFL during the 80s & 90s: Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Chris Doleman, Richard Dent, Leslie O'Neal, etc. who were selected ahead of him for those honors.

    He also played alongside Pro-Bowlers like Randy White, Ed Jones, & Harvey Martin in the first part of his career and Charles Haley later on. Many believed that Jeffcoat benefited from their presence and that he wasn't really as good as his numbers suggested.

    Jeffcoat ranks 21st all-time in NFL sacks. Again that is the official NFL records and does not count sacks prior to 1982, but still that is compared with hi contemporaries and those who came afterward and should not be discounted. Also, he ranks 15th among DLs in sacks as some of those ahead of him were OLBs like L.Taylor or Kevin Greene.

    He has more career sacks than: Charles Haley, Dexter Manley, Warren Sapp, Howie Long, or Mark Gastineau but is never thought of as being in their class for some reason.

    Jeffcoat had 2 career INTs and both were returned for TDs and both were against the Giants! (One in '85 the other in '87). He also scored on 2 fumble recoveries.

    From 1984-86 he had double-digit sacks all 3 seasons with a high of 14 in '86. That's 37.5 sacks in 3 years! Not too shabby.

    I remember being upset that Lee Roy Selmon was selected for the PB in 1984 instead of Jeffcoat as I thought Jim had the better season. The same for 1986 when he had 14 sacks but Leonard Marshall was selected ahead of him, mostly because the Giants won the SB that year and the Cowboys missed the playoffs.

    Ironically, his best season might have been 1989 when we went 1-15. he played great all year and really became an all-time favorite of mine that season. With nothing to play for he played his heart out and never gave up. He had 11.5 sacks and recovered 3 fumbles that year and was the only player on defense who seemed to show any signs of life that season. His effort that year really went a long ways with me.

    It sucked when he left the Cowboys after the 1994 season and went to Buffalo for 3 years.
  2. Chief

    Chief "Friggin Joke Monkey"

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    Dallas (and Gil Brandt specifically) had a terrible stretch of drafting guys in the first round through most of the 1980s:

    Howard Richards, Rod Hill, Billy Cannon Jr., Kevin Brooks, Danny Noonan, Mike Sherrard

    And then there's Jim Jeffcoat.

    He probably had less talent than all of the individuals listed above, but he had by far the best career. There's a lot to be said for effort, attitude and intelligence.
  3. THUMPER

    THUMPER Papa

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    That pretty much sums up Jim Jeffcoat.
  4. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    Kinda compares to Tony Tolbert in the "steady if not dominant" category, save for a game in 1985, when he sacked Theismann five times at RFK. Was an excellent situational pass rusher during the Jimmy years, too.

    [IMG]
  5. Double Trouble

    Double Trouble Well-Known Member

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    I think Sherrard had the ability to be a superstar. He looked like he really had something special when he was a rookie. Too bad he couldn't stay healthy.
  6. Double Trouble

    Double Trouble Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly who I'd compare him to.
  7. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and Brew... Staff Member

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    Jeffcoat was truly underappreciated. Steady and reliable. I really liked him. He always looked stiff as a board.
  8. Arch Stanton

    Arch Stanton it was the grave marked unknown right beside

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    Jim Jeffcoat was a good team guy.

    I was so pleased when guys like him and Bill Bates won Superbowl rings. :)
  9. THUMPER

    THUMPER Papa

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    I'd add Mark Tuinei in there as well. Those three went through the tough years and came out winners.
  10. Bleu Star

    Bleu Star Agent Coulson

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    I loved me some Jeffcoat. The guy was a strong example of just going out and getting it done.
  11. Doomsay

    Doomsay Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. He was one of those guys that added incredible depth to our D-Line in those Super Bowl runs. I also have his actual practice Jersey. :D
  12. THUMPER

    THUMPER Papa

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    Cool! Is there a story that goes along with it or did you just buy it somewhere? You know: you were a kid hanging out by the tunnel entrance. Along comes Jim Jeffcoat, limping and shuffling with his head down after a grueling day of practice. You offer him your Coke and he throws you his sweaty jersey.

    Something like that.
  13. yentl911

    yentl911 Well-Known Member

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    He had a bit of an unorthodox build and wasn't overly athletic but he was a hard worker that was relentless in his pass rush.

    One of the better pass rushers of his era....great call on that one Thumper..

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