Walter Jones belongs in the Hall now

NEW YORK -- Statistically speaking, you can’t play left tackle in the NFL any better than Walter Jones played it for the Seattle Seahawks.

He has a chance to become a first-ballot Hall of Famer on Saturday when the results are announced for the class of 2014.

"Anytime you can say first-ballot Hall of Famer, it’s a great title," Jones said two weeks ago at the Seahawks' practice facility. "Will it be a letdown [if it doesn’t happen this year]? It probably will. But just saying Hall of Famer is a great title."

Sometimes it can be difficult to judge offensive linemen. They don’t have all of the measurable numbers of quarterbacks, running backs or receivers. And defensive players can be judged on tackles, sacks, interceptions and passes defensed.

But in Jones' case, there are plenty of numbers to support him. If the voters go by the stats, there's no valid argument to keep Jones off the list of new inductees.

Allow me to review a few of them for you:

  • Jones started all 180 games he played for the Seahawks over 12 seasons.

  • He was whistled for holding only nine times in 5,703 pass plays while he was on the field. That's once every 634 plays.

  • He allowed only 23 sacks during his entire career, which is only one in every 248 pass plays. Two of those came in the final game of his career in 2008 (both by Dallas defensive end DeMarcus Ware), when Jones was hobbled by a knee injury that required surgery.

  • Jones was selected to nine Pro Bowls, most in team history, and was a six-time All-Pro.

  • In 2005, The Sporting News listed Jones as the best player in the game at any position.

  • He was voted to the NFL All-Decade team for the 2000s.

How can any voter look at those arguments and not put Jones in the Hall now?

"It's going to be exciting whenever it happens," Jones said. "If it's this year or in two years, just to be on the list is amazing. And to be able to play on one team is amazing, having my whole career with the Seahawks."